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Inner City Violence

Notre Dame Leadership Seminar 2015


on 25 September 2014

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Transcript of Inner City Violence

Inner City Violence
Towards Peace: Strategic Peacebuilding Solutions

of homicides in Los Angeles County were gang related
violent gang crimes in the last three years
Direct Violence
in one part of Los Angeles, a person's
chances of being murdered are
higher than the
national average
The word "gang" is commonly used in conjunction with the word "violence"
Physical violence is the form of violence that most people think of when they think of gangs
gang related homicides quadrupled between 1982 and 1992 in Los Angeles County
Works Cited
gang homicide is the second
leading cause of death among
people ages 15 -24
Prejudice and discrimination against minorities
Socioeconomic opportunities structurally blocked
a group of people who form
an allegiance for a common purpose and engage in violent,
Language barrier and social isolation create environment conducive to drug trade and crime
unlawful, or criminal activity
Limited opportunities for jobs and education
Low Income/Mobility Jobs
Youth witness their parents working unattractive primary and secondary sector jobs
There is much more to the issue of gangs and "gang violence" than simply physical violence
The majority of the factors that make up the problem lie beneath the surface
Youths do not want the same future
Structural Violence
Gangs allow for leisure time and provide financial resources (both by legal and illegal means)
City revenues were focused on building infrastructure and developing the Downtown district, e.g. the 1984 Olympics.
"gang infested"
"violence is inherent in gang activity"
Policy of increased incarceration in US
"war zone"
Strategic peacebuilding requires a blending of solutions
Addressing the problem of gang violence from all directions will do the most to solve it both long and short term
"seek confrontations"
"live in fear"
"thrive on intimidation and notoriety"
Direct and Psychological Violence
"find violence not only glamorous but also necessary"
In the past, street gangs resisted efforts of prison gangs to control them
"meant to create a sense of intimidation"
"pro-gang attitudes are related to breaking the law"
"no future aspirations"
Father Greg Boyle and Homeboy Industries
Increased number of youth entering prison are forced to associate with prison gangs for protection
gang violence claims
an average of one life
a day
Integration of street and prison gangs results in need for the pursuit of bigger and better resources
Structural Violence
The primary opposition to increasing development was the slow-growth movement, preserving suburbia at the expense of urban growth.
Job initiatives
Encourage businesses to invest in the area
Make rehabilitation a priority of incarceration
Elect politicians who will make gang violence a priority
*encourage those already in office to do the same
Create programs that facilitate racial and cultural integration
Cultural Violence
Blocking Peace
Creation of recreational centers and other programs to minimize the exposure of children to violence
Program such as the Ceasefire interrupters that focuses on building relationships with gang members
Change the mindsets of gang members and members of the smaller and larger communities
*gangs are everyone's problem
Cultural Enrichment
make those involved in gangs (specifically youth) familiar with different aspects of American and world cultures and aware of critical global issues
Cycle of Psychological Violence
Witness someone get injured or killed, or personally be injured by a gang violence

The LAPD used growing gang violence to justify more influence and control.
"What if we believed that no lives mattered less than other lives? What if we were to invest in people?"
Usually direct violence, such as a shooting, street fight, rape, or robbery
"Who really ran their city: [the] Mayor ,,, or the ... Chief of Police?"
(Davis, 2006)
Services & Programs
Employment services; tattoo removal; case management; legal services; mental health, substance abuse, & domestic violence services; educational services
Violent experiences with gang violence can result in PTSD, or "Post Traumatic
of adults in East Los Angeles never completed high school
"Post Traumatic Street Disorder"
LAPD's anti-gang unit attempted to ruin the gang truce, which eventually ceased.
Rather than deterrence, jails often encourage minor criminals to join gangs.
Up to 40% of the urban poor are dealing with PTSD
100 of 200 students of Manual Arts High School in LA tested positive for PTSD
Social Enterprises
Homegirl Cafe & Catering; Homeboy Farmers Markets; Homeboy Bakery; Homeboy Diner; Homeboy & Homegirl Merchandise; Homeboy Grocery; Homeboy Silkscreen & Embroidery
More inner city children suffer from PTSD than soldiers returning from war
Iraq and Afghanistan: 11-20%
Vietnam: 30%
Inner-city: up to 40%
Symptoms of PTSD
Constant Anxiety
Unable to voice or understand what one feels
Leads to...
Difficulty in school
Changed perception of "normal" and "everyday life"
Become numb to gang violence and shootings
Expect to die young
Plan short term instead of long term
Less importance placed on education, employment
Without the awareness or proper resources to be removed from the situation and heal, PTSD from street violence is allowed to fester and grow
Without anywhere to turn, the sufferer of PTSD acts out violently or seeks solace by following the crowd- joining a gang
Fremon, Celeste. G-dog and the Homeboys: Father Greg Boyle and the Gangs of East Los Angeles. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico, 2004. Print.
Umemoto, Karen. The Truce: Lessons from an L.A. Gang War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 2006. Print.
"Gangs." The Los Angeles Police Department. Web. http://www.lapdonline.org/get_informed/content_basic_view/1396
"What We Do." Homeboy Industries. Web. http://www.homeboyindustries.org/what-we-do/
"Why We Do It." Homeboy Industries. Web. http://www.homeboyindustries.org/why-we-do-it/
Disenfranchisement laws
Los Angeles
Lack in education or skills may make employment difficult
Tattoos and criminal record
Davis, Mike. City of quartz: excavating the future in Los Angeles. Verso, 2006. Preface. Print.
Knox, George.
The Problem of Gangs and Security Threat Groups (STG’s) in American Prisons Today: Recent Research Findings From the 2004 Prison Gang Survey
. Retrieved Jul 27 2014 from http://www.ngcrc.com/corr2006.html.
FBI. Uniform Crime Reports, prepared by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. Retrieved Jul 24 2014 from http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/.
"PTSD from Gang Violence in LA". VICE News. Web. http://www.vice.com/vice-news/ptsd-from-gang-violence-in-la
Pacheco, Henry R. Gangs 101: Understanding the Culture of Youth Violence. Rep. Philadelphia: Esperanza, 2010. Print.
Cultural and Structural Violence
Cultural Violence-
aspects of culture used to justify or legitimize direct or structural violence

Structural Violence-
unequal distribution of power and resources built in institutions that leads to a shorter life span and less fulfulling life
Psychological Violence:
Psychological violence occurs when someone uses threats and causes fear in an individual to gain control.
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