Academic Literature

The End of the Line: California Gangs and the Promise of Street Peace

2005
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The End of the Line: California Gangs and the Promise of Street Peace

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The article focuses on the social condition and the prevalence of gangs in California. Early in 2005, an alleged gang youth made headlines when he killed a police officer and then himself at a convenience store near Modesto. The U.S.’ most notorious “supergangs” originated in California including, the Crips, Bloods, Hell’s Angels, Mexican Mafia, the Aryan Brotherhood, and others. California not only leads all other states in the nation in terms of the number of people incarcerated, it also has the worst prisons in the country. This state is the country’s most populated, most agriculturally rich, and most industrialized state. Despite the fact that state had some wonderfully cohesive and livable communities, California is particularly strained along racial and class lines. There is an intense animosity between citizens and the undocumented. There have been some of the most innovative and meaningful gang prevention and intervention programs in California, like Barrios Unidos, based in Santa Cruz, California. In May 2005, the U.S. House passed a “Gangbusters” bill that will turn many gang-related violent offenses into federal crimes.

Rodriguez, L. (2005). The end of the line: California gangs and the promise of street peace. Social Justice, 32(3), 12-23.

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