There is so much about California that is seemingly innocuous, temperate, and with much to be envied by everyone else in the country; however, the ever-growing presence of gangs within this beautiful state cannot be denied. And in cities like Los Angeles, community members may be expected to understand what type of gang territory they are in, whether stopping for gas or food.
Children in these urban areas grow up knowing intrinsically where it is safe to go, and where it is not. But unfortunately, they may end up in gangs too—and it can start very young. Some gangs start recruiting kids by the age of eight or nine, but on average around the age of 15. Children at that age are extremely impressionable and vulnerable, and they may have come from broken homes or have parents and other family they look up to who are gang members too.
Because of the continued increase in gang-related crimes, there are many programs aimed at keeping youths on the straight and narrow—and out of gangs. Special educators may come into the schools, teaching kids about the dangers of gangs and the related issues with drugs and homicide. They also speak about the danger of weapons, along with the amount of legal trouble they can end up in just for bringing a gun to school. The sheer benefits of staying in school can be inspiring too, when program administrators are able to get on the same level with kids, alerting them to how important it is to get a high-school diploma, along with avoiding being suspended or expelled.
You can keep your kids out of the gang life with the following tips:
- Talk! This is the most important thing you can do with your child. Be there for them and have an open door for communication and any concerns they may have.
- Get them involved in other healthier activities, many of which are affiliated with the school, like sports. There may also be other activities related to hobbies they enjoy that you can sign them up for.
- Educate them on the dangers of gangs. Talk about repercussions stemming from problems with violence, guns, drugs, and more.
- Explain to your child that you understand about peer pressure and how it can be to avoid. We’ve all been through it, but it is no reason to throw your life away in a gang.
If your minor has been charged with a gang crime, call Dolan Law Offices as soon as possible. We have defended hundreds of adults and juveniles in these matters, with successful results—and it is very important to try and avoid a gang crime conviction that would be on your child’s record permanently, leading to further escalation if there were another charge in the future. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.