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Word Count: 1,152
Gangs have been a threat in a lot of our communities in the United States dating back to the early 1800s There has however been a few discrepancies when it comes to defining these groups Sometimes city or town officials who do not want to be classified as having a gang problem will go to certain measures to cover up this problem This may be for many reasons but the main reason that sticks out in my mind is the fact that these cities or towns do not want tourists or people in the community to be fearful of this gang problem The police departments andor city officials then oversimplify the problem so they will not be considered to have a gang problem Another problem that we face with defining gangs is that sometimes police departments will be offered money to clean up their gang problem In turn these police departments will either exaggerate this problem or in some cases create a gang problem to receive more funding Other exaggeration occurs when police departments classify certain people as gang members when this is not necessarily the case Police departments may see for example six teenage boys that are always in trouble and happen to hang around together as a gang What will happen is that the police will report theses teenagers as gang members and their names will stay in the system for a long time This is a major problem because the system is not being purged as much as it should be The publics images of gangs is somewhat biased It is of my opinion that the public uses race gender and socioeconomic class to decide whether or not a certain person is a gang member In William J Chambliss The Saints and The Roughnecks he talks about two groups of teenage boys that caused some trouble nothing major in their community One of the groups was called The Roughnecks and the other
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