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Disengaging From Gang Life: What Works?

A close look at studies of why and when gang members leave their groups offers clues to the types of interventions that can divert young people from further criminal involvement, according to a Journal of Crime and Justice paper.

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The Beat Within: ‘To Me, They Were My Real Family’

This essay was originally published by The Beat Within, a justice system writing workshop. It was the year 1969. I was born in December to a single mother. From what I was told, I was a handsome young fella, and even at a very young age I was told, “Boy, you look just like your daddy”. Speaking of which, I only saw my dad on the weekends, or at family functions on my dad's side of the family, if my […]

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The Beat Within: 'I Still Remember the Day It Happened'

This essay was originally published by The Beat Within, a justice system writing workshop. My name is Jensen Ramos and I am currently serving a life sentence for committing a crime as a juvenile. I committed my crime at the age of 17. I was tried, convicted and sentenced to 50 years to life. I have currently been in prison for 12 years now, and till this day I hate it. I still remember the day it happened. On January […]

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Gang Ties Cited In Arrests For Murder Of Indiana Pastor’s Wife

In 2009, they called themselves the FAM Gang. It was an Indianapolis gang comprising at least a dozen teens. One way to enter the gang (the initials stood for Forever After Money, but it also referred to FAMily Untouchable) was to rob someone. Two of its members were a 14-year-old kid named Jalen “Lil Watt” Watson and a teen named Diano “D-Loc” Gordon. Yesterday, Watson, now 21, was charged in the nationally publicized murder of pastor’s wife Amanda Blackburn, who […]

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A Tour With Tulsa Gang Cops As They Look For Guns, Hope To Stop Robberies

Tulsa police gang officers Andy Dawson and Korey Scott head out in good weather, ideal for contacting gang members and their associates. It's also a good time for finding and seizing illegally owned firearms. That is one way police are trying to deconstruct gangs, says the Tulsa World. Tulsa police recovered a record high of at least 215 guns in 2014. As of last week, 202 firearms have been recovered from the streets this year, said Sgt. Sean Larkin. “Every […]