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Criminology Final Exam
The threat of Transnational Gangs To Local Communities
Countries such as the United States face many challenges and risks from transnational gangs that threaten to attack its city-states like, for example, Texas. The various transnational gangs commonly known in the world include the MS-13, Barrio Azteca, The Texas Syndicate, and the Mexican Mafia. These particular types of gangs are popular for infiltrating various towns and communities and threatening the lives of the innocent civilians that reside in them. Moreover, the gangs participate in recruitment exercises targeting schoolchildren, prisoners, and other community members (Manwaring, 2007).
Numerous border immigration laws need implementation by the government under the immigration laws to curb the spread of transnational gangs. In the United States of America, the legislature submits several proposals to provide a structure that will facilitate the effective combat of these gangs. The proposed laws aim to control gang activities before they penetrate through the borders of the nation. The Gang Abatement and Prevention Act (2007) tabled on the floor of Congress by Senator Feinstein, Fighting Gangs and Empowering Youth Act (2007) section 990 all provide methods that will address the particular problem.
These solutions include the creation of new crimes that are considered federal. Increasing police salaries will act as motivation and insurance when dealing with these sorts of crimes. While on duty, the lives of the police officers are always at stake. The creation of responsive programs will intersect the recruitment of gang members from the local communities (Lafontaine, Ferguson & Wormith, 2005).
Based on the authority given to the legislature under Article 1 section 8 of the United States Constitution, the assembly has the power to add and amend laws in the federal criminal law. According to the constitution, it is the commerce clause. The local and state governments have various options and ways in which they can explore while dealing with transnational gangs.
Concerning the immigration laws, the immigrants found in the country illegally and involved in gang crimes will face deportation charges. Illegal criminal immigrants should face stiff penalties on second offends in the United States after their deportation. According to the government records, the United States federal government strives to deport multitudes of foreign nationals.
These foreign nationals always have records of accomplishment of conviction of crimes apart from the INA that implies constant violation of the law. The United States deported approximately 610000 criminals between the years 1998 and 2005. In most cases, the immigrants engage in illegal and criminal activities. Interestingly, most of the deported immigrants originate from Mexico and Central America (Esbensen & Weerman, 2005).
The United States government ought to enforce the already existing laws about individuals who successfully sneak back to the United States and appear on immigration records. The current federal law guarantees prosecution to any alien citizen to the United States if initially he had been found and either denied admission or deported. In the case of the immigrants who manage to find their way back to the country illegally, they can face up to two years of the maximum sentence.
A proposal presented by the legislature is for the maximum sentence to increase to five years. Illegal immigration and transnational gangs can pose as terrorists hence there is the need for strict laws. Implementation of the laws will help the law enforcers to combat adequately this particular activity. In addition, the highlighted changes in immigration laws should capture other crimes committed by the immigrants.
These crimes include drugs trading, drug, and other substance abuse, human trafficking, and many others. Ideally, the laws of the land should also apply to any foreigners to ensure that they face maximum penalties for any crimes committed. The rapidity, conviction, and sternness of the sentence will directly influence the results (Decker & Weerman, 2005).
Relationship Between Social, Political and Economic Conditions of an Ethnic Group to the Success or Decline of a Gang From That Ethnic Group
The success and decline of various transnational gangs will depend on several factors. The political aspect is responsible for the formulation and implementation of various laws that govern the operation of transnational gangs by law enforcers. A lapse in the political environment such as a lack of attention to the gangs that arise from the neighboring countries of the United States will increase the occurrences of diverse attacks. There should be a relationship between different social, political, and economic mechanisms that fight the occurrences of such attacks or scenarios.
However, some mechanisms tend to promote the occurrence of these gains. The rising of such a gang from a particular ethnic group may indicate several implications concerning its social, political, and economic status. In terms of the social aspects, recruited gang members known to the public possess various characters and behaviors such as being ruthless and anti-social. Mostly, the gang members lack a constant and stable source of income hence survive with daily wages or casual employment (Esbensen & Weerman, 2005).
They, therefore, resort to gang activities to supplement their necessary wants and needs. The state of unemployment in any country usually is a reflection of the number of people who have much idle time. They become vulnerable to gang recruitments and help in making the lives of others unsafe. The state of the economy in some circumstances propagates the indulgence of the youth and unemployed to such activities. The inability of a country to deal with its inflation rate but increasing its gross output to increase the employment rate directly contributes to the prosperity of gangs.
An economy that is self-sufficient with the government as the highest employer may utilize the talents and skills possessed by the various unemployed individuals. Being unemployed renders one idle and may end up engaging in criminal activities. On the contrary, if the political environment is unstable and there is a poor relationship between two countries, then the transnational gangs may have a higher likelihood of growth. In such scenarios, most people believe that the opposition supports gangs to disrupt government activities. They are in a position of supremacy and power, and they fall as viable targets as heads of these gangs.
The local politicians who may be after various interests in the neighboring countries can facilitate access to weapons and various arsenals. The political environment creates an avenue where incitement perpetuates the unemployed individuals to join criminal gangs. Scholars agree that various reasons will lead to minimal gang activities in a country. In recent times, a country's economic stability and relations with the neighboring countries will highly lead to reduced border crimes. A thriving economy creates employment for the people hence there is no chance to engage in criminal gang activities (Lafontaine, Ferguson & Wormith, 2005).
How Responses of the Correctional Staff to the Gangs Contrast Or Compare To Those Of The Law Enforcement
According to National Criminal Justice Reference Service, under the article police response to gangs, the writer takes readers through how the law enforcers respond. In the article, the author explores the police officers' sentiments concerning cases, which involve gangs and their activities. The approach is, however, different from the correctional officers. The difference in their structures and operations is vivid in the publication: Street Gangs: A review of the empirical literature on community and corrections-based prevention, intervention and suppression strategies by Saskatchewan Corrections and Public Safety.
Both of these personalities are involved in the law enforcement branch. The difference arises in terms of the jurisdiction in which they handle. According to the law, all law enforcers take oaths to work in line with the current constitution and swear to protect it. Acts of multinational gangs tend to be contrary to the laws that are stated in the constitution, and they warrant an effective response from the various law enforcers (Manwaring, 2007).
Whenever there is a tip of any suspected gang activity, the police officers on the ground normally rush to the scene to protect citizens. The safety of human beings is always the number one priority before neutralizing and eliminating the threat. In the law enforcement category, the extent of the attack determines their actions. If the multinational gang has been involved in massive crimes against humanity such as rape and manslaughter, there are usually limited options that the law enforcers have to pursue. They have to keep in mind that their lives are also at risk.
Therefore, the magnitude of the crime determines the response expected from the law enforcers. Responses to activities such as the selling of drugs may be different and may not necessarily involve a shootout unless situations call for such measures. The acts of manslaughter and other acts of violation are crimes of high magnitude. In such situations, the gangs tend to engage the police in shootouts, and in return, the police respond with shootouts to curb the situation. The law enforcers are always at liberty to engage anybody who causes a state of imbalance in society.
On the other hand, police officers and other correctional officers within correctional facilities have various duties. Prisons also consist of various gangs, and the formation of the gangs majorly depends on the countries of origin. Being from the same country creates unity among the gangs in prison hence these gangs can also be qualified as multinational ones (Esbensen & Weerman, 2005). The most prevalent type of gangs that assume this nature is the gangs formed by individuals from Mexico and the African American population.
They form the main gangs that are responsible for various activities in prisons and need a strong arm of the law to keep them calm and contained. Some of the activities famously conducted by these prison gangs include attempts of escape, attempts of rape to the prison personnel, murder, and fights.
The law enforcers in the specified department are, therefore, on the watch out and are vigilant to ensure the prevention of such crimes before their occurrence. They are limited go the types of weapons they possess. The main reason behind this is that the correctional officer may find himself or herself in a very compromising situation, and the very same tools he carries around for safety may cause harm. They only carry an arsenal that cannot be a threat to them and the rest of the inmates. The jurisdiction of these two types of police personnel may be different, but the job description is the same (Esbensen & Weerman, 2005).
Gangs from Two Ethnic Groups
In the United States alone, there are over hundreds of gangs under the government watch. In this section, the paper compares the Texas Syndicate gang and the Mexican Mafia. The Texas Syndicate refers to a deadly prison-based gang located in Texas; it includes Hispanic and non-Hispanic white members. This particular type of gang is popular for associating with Mexican prisoners who were immigrants. In terms of membership, a record number of 19000 members was reported in jails and prisons.
The specific statistics included 826 members who were Hispanic and operated across Texas. When the criminal activity record is analyzed, it shows that the gang is involved in activities such as contract killing, illegal gambling, protection, prostitution, extortion, and drug trafficking. The gang marked with the various symbols they possess portray that they rule and govern the community they reside in (Manwaring, 2007).
The Mexican Mafia, on the other hand, is a highly organized gang found in the United States. Despite the name, these particular gangs do not originate from Mexico. However, the majority of its members are of Mexican origin, and they are known for various crimes such as robbery with violence, kidnappings, rape, executions, assassinations, and drug trafficking. They have existed for the longest time and are responsible for the collection of various charges from the neighborhood in exchange for protection against other gangs (Lafontaine, Ferguson & Wormith, 2005).
Females and Gang Activities
Women are increasingly taking part in various activities of the current gangs. The action can be attributed to the women's seductive nature since their roles are defined. They have not been involved in handling various key tasks that may involve the usage of machinery. Women act as a way to seek favor from leaders to penetrate various regions and conduct various activities that may not be by the laws stated in the constitution of the United States.
The approach to combat gangs that have various women recruits is different because females are the weaker sex than the male. However, some argue that the law should be enforced the same way it was stated regardless of the gender of the individual. Any compromise would jeopardize the whole operation of combating various gangs (Esbensen & Weerman, 2005).
Reports on women and gangs indicate poor treatment of females, with some being sexually molested by the male members. In other cases, women come in handy when the gangs transport illegal substances and drugs as they are less suspected. The majority of the women who are involved in gangs are mostly prostitutes who are looking for a supplementary source of income. Before any programs are set, it remains the sole duty and obligation of governments to ensure that the feminine population is adequately catered for in terms of employment (Decker & Weerman, 2005).
They stand at a very vital point of increasing the build and spread of various gangs. They also pose a great danger when taken to various correctional facilities. The women who are in these gangs tend to be highly street smart and can use various avenues to increase the memberships of the gangs that have been created. Female incarceration, therefore, needs high levels of care, so that upon release, they are reformed and would not exit and join the next big bidder in the gang industry. These can help reduce the involvement of women in the gangs and make them concentrate on the building of a family and a career.