Thursday, August 13, 2009

Need Gang Advice?

The FBI website has a Gang Website where one can find information from the perspective of the FBI on street gangs including statistics, photos, news, and intelligence. Worth checking out if dealing with a case involving alleged gang activity. Quite a bit of focus on MS-13 Mara Salvatrucha. Who are the MS-13, you say?
Members of Mara Salvatrucha, better known as MS-13, who are mostly Salvadoran nationals or first generation Salvadoran-Americans, but also Hondurans, Guatemalans, Mexicans, and other Central and South American immigrants. And according to our recent national threat assessment of this growing, mobile street gang, they could be operating in your or in the near future.

You can also try Know For a less law enforcement perspective, try Criminologist Lewis Yablonsky who has spent his career studying gang members; here's what is said about him:

Yablonsky most recent, Gangs in Court (Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company Inc., 2008, second edition), discusses “active” and “non-active” gang member statuses that he coined as a result of his long-term research. Active gangsters include “veteranos,” longtime gang members who have committed a crime to gain their high status; “G’s,” the “troops” of a gang; and “wannabes,” or aspiring gangsters. Non-active gangsters include “gangster groupies,” youth who do not participate in criminal gang activity but hang out and are intrigued by gangsters; “residents in a G neighborhood,” young men who have grown up with gangsters and identify with them as a means for survival; and former gangsters.

“This research has proven useful to defense attorneys because gang members who commit crimes are subject to more stringent sentences under gang enhancement laws,” Yablonsky says. “Many of the cases I’ve been involved with have shown that the defendants are not connected to a gang, but they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. They may have committed a crime, but that crime did not enhance the status of a gang, and, therefore, the defendant should not be held to more stringent discipline.”

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