Feature Article Task - Teens and gangs.

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Feature Article Task

Surviving inequality: teens risking lives in gangs to get by

Gun shots aren’t exactly the ideal sound one would want to wake up to, but for some teenagers the sound is part of their day to day lives. You wouldn’t find these youths on the streets of Beverly Hills or anywhere in Orange County, the sounds are heard in the poorest of neighbourhoods while the rich drive around town in their expensive cars. The divide between the poor and rich continues to grow while someone’s bank account also continues to grow

Gangs and drug rings thrive on the poorest of neighbourhoods and the targets to be the messengers, are none other than the vulnerable teenagers who roam the streets looking for a sense of direction. These teenage messengers then eventually end up supplying the wealthy people who need their monthly ‘doses’.

For teenagers growing up in poor neighbourhoods, life isn’t always the easy or enjoyable and many teenagers in these neighbourhoods feel as though people will judge them for where they come from, and in some places this is the case. Despite efforts by governments, many teens choose the ‘fast life’ over the promising life because it seems like the easy way out. Being part of a gang shouldn’t be seen as an easy way out, rather a fast way to leave this earth forever as statistics have shown that a gang member is 60 times more likely to experience death by homicide when compared to the general population.

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Statistics from NCVC ( The National Centre for Victims of Crime) and youth help organisations show that over 40% of gang members are under the age of 18 and that there has been a dramatic rise in gang related violence since the early 1980’s.  Another statistic shows that children who live in poorer neighbourhoods are much more likely to be abused or neglected as a child and victims of abuse are 53% more likely to be arrested as  a juvenile and 38% more likely to be arrested of a violent crime.

Gang involvement is so common in poorer neighbourhoods due ...

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