what is some information about gangs and there members that would benefit people to know?
There has been lots of studies and reports done to try and figure out trends and activity of gangs. In the article " Chicago has tough gun laws " they talk about how a study was done by the police department reviewing gang members found that most members with the guns are repeat offenders that aren't supposed to have weapons. Almost 80% of these people should not legally have weapons in their possession because they have been to jail before and it’s against the law for them to own a weapon. Some more information from " Hidden America " an article by ABC is they state "there are over 100,000 gang members in Chicago compared to the 12,000 cops in the city" . This is a very alarming number as in the other major cities such as NYC and LA there is almost an equal amount of cops and gang members. Many people say there is a problem with the amount of gang members in Chicago and there is a lot to know and understand about them before a change can be made. Some people have voiced their opinions wanting longer sentences for gang members so they learn a lesson.
Should gang members face harder sentences and have higher fines?
Many gang members are getting out of jail in less than a year and some are even just getting off with a small fine. One example of this is that criminals are being caught with guns are getting out with just house arrests or on bonds that get paid for by other gang members ( Lightly ). This is putting these offenders back out on the street and almost 80% of the time they end up getting arrested again for a crime they commit. Gang members being caught with illegal guns and drugs have been spending less time in jail than people who have been caught for stealing things. Some gang member offered a solution to this problem and it was that if bond became less accessible and prison sentences were longer it could change the behavior on the streets ( Saul ). Gang members often feel like if they faced harder punishments then they would be discouraged to continue to commit some of the crimes they do. Gang members and police agree that if there were harder sentences there would be less crimes being committed. Police are trying to find ways to reduce crime to prevent them from ever going to jail.
How are police trying to reduce gang violence throughout Chicago?
Police are trying to reduce gang violence in Chicago in many different ways and techniques involving getting involved with youth and using social media as a help. One of the ways they are doing this is Chicago police has started watching the gang members most likely to kill someone or be killed and try to figure out there trends and what they do and where they go which according to research by the department has been to be working since they have seen a 5% decrease in crime since that has started( Butin ). There is a certain division of the police department whose job is to track gang members and follow their activity to try and see if there might be a gang fight or something else where someone could be harmed. They are doing that to try and prevent an incident from happening. There has been other ideas being discussed such as federal or state help. Another way that they are trying to reduce the violence is the federal government has sent in members of the FBI to try and help with the violence and work in a specific gang stopping unit ( Lightly ). These federal agents are more trained and can be helpful in solving hard cases and have been helping in drug and gun trafficking by gangs. By taking these guns off the streets it will reduce the risk of people getting shot. Reducing gang violence has been hard for Chicago to do and they are still trying to find ways of keeping gang members in jail longer with harder sentences.
Why are gang members not being caught or convicted very often with all the crimes they commit?
There have been a large amount of homicides and thefts in the city of Chicago that have gone unsolved. The article " Hidden America " talks about how part of the reason that these criminals aren't being caught is “ There are over 100,000 gang members in Chicago compared to the 12,000 cops in the city “. There is almost 10 gang members for every cop that is in the city making it very hard for the police to keep up with everything these gangs are doing. One reason gang members aren't being convicted is often after a crime has been committed from a gang member one of the members who is of less power turns himself in and takes the blame for the crime allowing for who actually did it to stay on the streets and continue to do illegal things (Butin). This is taking gang members off the streets but it’s not taking the bad ones off who are actually the ones committing the crimes making there no less gang violence. The amount of illegal gang crime isn't going to decrease much if the police don't find a way to find out who's actually been committing the crimes. Most people in the community have had enough of all the crime and are trying to make a difference in there city.
What are some things being done by community members to stop gang violence?
There are many different things being tried and done by community members throughout the city of Chicago to make a difference in there area. An example of something they are trying is they are having people who go and visit kids in gangs to try and help them get out such as the local football coach and the head of the police department ( Butin ). They are hoping that if they can give kids an alternative and something to do such as play sports or get involved in after school activities they won't have the time to be apart of a gang and they will have a team holding them accountable to being a good person. Another way they are trying to stop gang violence from happening is through social media. The police are asking people to report anything that is suspicious or illegal team that is on social media because sometimes gang members post about a fight that is going to happen or they post a picture of drugs or guns ( Saul ). Police are trying to find ways to prevent gang violence from happening so if they are able to find out when a fight might happen they can stop it keeping people from possibly dying. There hasn't been a 100% effective way to stop gang violence but there are different things people are trying that could work.
Video interview with gang members talking about life as a member and some of the things that go on