Advice on dating a gang member

The first street-gang in the United States, the 40 Thieves, began around the late 1820s in New York City. In 2011, the National Gang Intelligence Center of the Federal Bureau of Investigation asserted that "There are approximately 1.4 million active street, prison, and outlaw gang members comprising more than 33,500 gangs in the United States." In December 13, 2009, The New York Times published an article about growing gang violence on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and estimated that there were 39 gangs with 5,000 members on that reservation alone.

The Russian, Chechen, Azerbaijani, Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian, and other former Soviet organized crime groups or "Bratvas" have many members and associates affiliated with their various sorts of organized crime, but no statistics are available.

A number of gangs have gained notoriety in the course of history, including the Italian Mafia, the Greek mafia, the Bosnian mafia, the Russian mafia, the French mafia, the Armenian mafia, the Macedonian mafia, the Irish mob, the Jewish mob, the Triads and crime syndicates in East Asia, the Jamaican Shower Posse and Yardies, the African-American Supreme Team, Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples, Vice Lords, Black P Stones and Four Corner Hustlers, Latino gangs such as the Latin Kings, MS-13, Norteños, Sureños, and Trinitarios, white supremacist gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood, Aryan Nations and biker gangs like Hells Angels and Comanchero.

In discussing the banditry in American history Barrington Moore, Jr.

Such individuals are often experiencing low levels of these various factors in their own lives, feeling ostracized from their community and lacking social support.

Joining a gang may appear to them to be the only way to obtain status and success; they may feel that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

suggests that gangsterism as a "form of self-help which victimizes others" may appear in societies which lack strong "forces of law and order"; he characterizes European feudalism as "mainly gangsterism that had become society itself and acquired respectability through the notions of chivalry".

A wide variety of gangs, such as the Order of Assassins, the Damned Crew, Adam the Leper's gang, Penny Mobs, Indian Thugs, Chinese Triads, Snakehead, Japanese Yakuza, Irish mob, Pancho Villa's Villistas, Dead Rabbits, American Old West outlaw gangs, Bowery Boys, Chasers, the Italian Mafia, Jewish mafia, and Russian mafia crime families have existed for centuries.

The cliques typically bring more territory to a gang as they expand and recruit new members.Some members of criminal gangs are "jumped in" (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence.A member of a gang may be called a "gangster", a "gang banger", or, less specifically, a "thug".Prison gangs often have several "affiliates" or "chapters" in different state prison systems that branch out due to the movement or transfer of their members.The 2005 study neither War nor Peace: International Comparisons of Children and Youth in Organized Armed Violence studied ten cities worldwide and found that in eight of them, "street gangs had strong links to prison gangs".

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