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Girls in Gangs


Glendy Garcia

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Girls in Gangs

Foundation GIRLS IN THE GANG Few current studies examine female gang data
Gang roles misunderstood
Not taken as seriously as male counterparts
Perceived as non-threatening
Lack of female gang officers
Inconsistent gang data documentation LACK OF INFORMATION ON GIRLS IN GANGS Low self esteem and depression
Sexual, physical, emotional abuse
Sexually active at an early age
Alcohol and drug abuse
Single, step, incarcerated or detached parents
Poor relationship with mother
Prone to runaway
Early onset of puberty Most common include dysfunctional families, gangs in their community, family members involved. INDIVIDUAL RISK FACTORS Mostly, for the same reasons boys do, but also:
Boyfriend, family, or friends involved
Family issues (with both father and mother); rebellious attitude
Seeking love and affirmation
Bullying/Fear (protection)
Identity/gender issues
No positive role models
Socialization (way to meet boys) WHY DO GIRLS JOIN GANGS? IDENTIFIERS USED BY FEMALE GANG MEMBERS Jewelry (earrings, pendants, rings)
Make-up: compacts, lipstick holders, eye
shadow, nail polish
Hair color
Hair accessories
Large sums of money WHY HAVE GIRLS IN THE GANG?
Set up rivals
Gather or relay intelligence
and information
Act as accomplices in crimes
Increase the membership of the gang
Hide and carry weapons or drugs
Usually ignored by law enforcement INITIATION OF GIRLS Beat in by other girls or male members
Commit or indirectly participate in crimes
Sexed in by male gang members
Teenage pregnancy
Child custody issues
Drop out
Domestic violence
Sexual abuse
Sexual identity
Limited employment and educational opportunities
Lack of welfare benefits INTERVENTION STRATEGIES FOR FEMALE GANG MEMBERS Family counseling
Individual counseling
Group education
Educational opportunities
Employment opportunities
Recreational activities SERVICE PLAN ACTIVITIES Alcohol and drug treatment
Mental health services
Health education
Parenting classes
Family planning
Day care assistance
Job skill development
Two or more grade levels behind
Discipline issues at school
Risky sexual behavior
Current/Past probation
Drug paraphernalia/Use By 2006 arrest rates for simple assaults doubled for boys, but quadrupled for girls. Source: Causes and Correlates of girls’ Delinquency, OJJDP Girls Study Group April 2010 HOW GIRLS CONTRIBUTE TO GANG VIOLENCE Spread rumors
Date rival gang members
Become pregnant by a rival gang member
Carry out gang crimes that were not permitted
Beat up a rival gang member’s sibling
Get caught gathering gang intelligence
Steal money or drugs Only 2% of documented gang members in Houston are girls. Source: Houston Police Department Street Gang Activity Report, 2012 City of Houston Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office
Gang Prevention and Intervention Track Characteristics of Female Gang Members and Risk Factors that Lead to their Involvement GIRLS IN THE GANG Process Growth Intervention Possibilities Roles Sibling Girlfriend Wife Traditionally only viewed as tomboys or sex objects, girls take on several roles in gangs. Active
Gang Member Active
Mother Party
Girl Gang
Associate Not initiated into the gang Roles: THE ASSOCIATE “Groupie”
May represent the gang
Limited criminal activity
Dates gang members
Easily influenced
“Crash dummy”
Sporadic involvement Sibling of gang member(s). Roles: THE ACTIVE SISTER Current on gang knowledge
Covers for siblings
Fight other females
Participates in gang activity
A need to exceed siblings Commit fewer violent crimes. More inclined to drug dealing, property crimes and status offenses. Source: Juvenile Justice Bulletins Roles: THE ACTIVE GANG MEMBER
Initiated (jumped/beaten; sexed in)
Participates in gang activity
Possible probationary period
Respected by male members
Loyal to the gang
May have designated role/rank
“Tomboy” image or gender identity issues Roles: THE GIRLFRIEND Companion
“Hood Hopper”
Limited respect from males
No respect from female members
Can be an associate or member, but no solid role Roles: WIFE
Instant respect from gang
May or may not be
involved in gang activity
Does not always agree with husband’s involvement
Covers for husband
Takes care of the kids
Loyal to husband Roles: THE ACTIVE MOTHER
Involved in gang activity
Passes on gang value system to kids
Continues family tradition
Lacks parenting, coping skills
Will engage with men who may have had past or current gang affiliation Roles: THE PARTY GIRL
Sometimes initiated into gang
No respect from members
Used for sex/prostitution
Gathers and relays gang
Sets up rivals
Transports or hides drugs
Conceals weapons Questions? Comments? Trisha Bradley
Glendy Garcia
Laura Tenorio
laura.tenorio@houstontx.gov City of Houston Mayor's Anti-Gang Office Department of Neighborhoods (832)393-0931
Full transcript