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Word Count: 950
Gangs in one form or another have been around for hundreds of years Pirates were probably some of the original bad gangs The groups that traditionally come to mind when one thinks of modern day gangs are the Crips and the Bloods from California The origins of the Crips and Bloods can be traced to the late 60s and the gang culture is so ingrained on the west coast that many families have three and even four generations of gangsters residing in the same residence Depending on whose figures you listen to government officials have a tendency to downsize the numbers LA gangs number between 800 and 1000 with anywhere from 120000 to 220000 members As of January 1993 we have identified about 40 named street gangs in Pulaski County with 800 - 1000 identified members These numbers are often debated and depending on whose criteria is used to decide who is and is not a gangbanger The figures could be considerably higher Oftentimes young peripheral or associate gang members get their first exposure to the gang culture through various aspects of the media--news shows movies videos and even through the music of various artists Some music and movies tend to glamorize the gang lifestyle Many kids who gravitate to gangs do so out of a need to belong to something and for the power that is gained from being in a gang The society that we live in makes alternative lifestyles very appealing I believe however that the need for attention and the desire to obtain material goods are fast becoming the motivations driving youngsters to these groups While conducting a prison interview with a young man who was about to spend his eighteenth birthday in the prison where the most violent inmates are housed for his part in the robbery and killing of two liquor store clerks I was told that in order for this kid to have stayed away from the
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