Gangs have been around since as far back as 1791. The formation of these early gangs was attributed to poor economic conditions in cultural or ethnic segments of larger urban areas. They soon progressed to the larger major cities of America.

Criminal street gangs are no longer a dilemma experienced by larger cities. Gangs now exist in almost every county in the United States and the amount of violence associated with gang crime continues to increase.

Gang recruiters challenge traditional presumptions about how those concerned for youth actually work with them. What American families often offer youth growing up in shattered homes, living in mistrusting communities, and facing bleak futures stands in tepid contrast to the gang recruiter who promises:


A family to belong to

A community

Sense of order, structure and purpose

A valued role or socialization




Money or financial gain

A job or position


Approval and acceptance among peers


  • What the gang recruiter promises is not exotic. The promises speak to very basic human needs. Kids ache to belong, be supported, and be cared about; some kids are willing to risk death for that.



Would you believe that all these needs were taken care of 2,000 years ago?

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