"Gang violence is the emerging monster of crime in America"
"There are a large number of communities in this state, particularly
rural and suburban, that think they don't have a problem, and they're dead wrong."
--John Hagerty, Spokesman
According to the latest figures by the New Jersey State Police, the East Coast Gang Investigators' Association, and N.J. Attorney General Peter Harvey, gang violence in New Jersey is on the rise.
It is estimated that there are 10,000 gang members that now exist in our state. Crime has been declining since the early 90's, but in each of the past three years, and so far in 2005, homicides are on the rise. And according to law enforcement, gang-related homicides are on the rise as well.
A recent article in The Bridgeton News, a Cumberland County paper, read "North Jersey Gangs Coming". This is the trend nationwide as reported in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Newsweek Magazine -- gangs and gang violence are spreading from traditional locales such as L.A., Chicago, New York, and Miami. Gangs, and with it, gang violence, is spreading to small-town America.
Law enforcement experts cite lucrative emerging drug markets and less scrutiny from small-town police. Whatever the reasons, it's evident that gangs and gang violence is spreading nationwide, and it is very evident that it is spreading in New Jersey.
What is even more troubling about this growing problem is that throughout the nation, and especially here in New Jersey, we are NOT dealing with a typical gang situation where leaders dictate initiation rites and hierarchies, and direct money-making operations. The youth that are in these gangs and the youths that are being recruited into these gangs operate outside of that traditional structure.
What happens is you find more violence from bona-fide gang-bangers and more violence from feuding factions who are ill-prepared for the violence. Younger youth seek the approval and noteriety that they think gang-violence can bring them -- and they're wrong -- dead wrong!
WE NEED TO REACH OUR YOUTH WITH PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION PROGRAMS!
WE NEED TO BRING OUR YOUTH A MESSAGE OF REALITY SHOWING THEM WHAT REALLY AWAITS THEM IN THE GANGSTA-LIFE -- DEATH OR PRISON!
Click here to find out more about the GRAD Program.
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