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Why do some teens join gangs?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Criminal Defense

While Upper Marlboro, Maryland, is a relatively peaceful location, there have been some gang-related activities in recent years. And this is certainly the case for more populated areas across the state of Maryland.

In the majority of these cases, the perpetrators are of a young age. Young people are more often than not the main target of gang recruiters. What factors increase the risks of young people getting involved in gang-related activities?

If other family members are involved

As a parent, it’s likely that you carefully monitor the friend groups that your child spends time with. Unfortunately, you cannot keep an eye on them 24/7. Perhaps you have a distant family member who has been involved in gang activity before. Despite taking every precaution to keep your child away from them, they might still be able to get a hold of your child.

Recruiters in gangs often target family members as people they can trust and hold power over, particularly younger family members.

A lack of structure

Children, especially teens, often land up in trouble if they lack structured routines. School can help to provide some of this structure, but out-of-school hours and weekends can be an issue if a teen lacks things to do. Hobbies and sports activities can be beneficial in providing structure and ensuring that the teen has ambitions for the future.

In some cases, teens are wrongly stereotyped by law enforcement as troublemakers, which can result in criminal charges. To build a defense strategy and protect your child’s future, you may want to consider seeking further legal guidance.