How Do Gangs Recruit Their Members?

Recruitment into the gang usually starts in the middle school where the age group is between 10 and 13. Some recruitment has also been seen in the elementary school and into the early years of high school. Most gangs target youth that are easily talked into doing work for the gang. Current gang members will often use peer pressure or fear and intimidation tactics to get others to join their gang. Providing cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs as a lure is another method of recruitment. Kids are often confronted by gang members in their neighborhoods, in school or on the internet and are asked to join the gang. Young people are told the “Big Lies” about all the good things that happen when they join. They are told they will earn a lot of money, make friends, go to parties, and belong to a close “family” that will care for and ‘love’ them. Young people may be enticed by the glorified images of “gangsters” and the gangster lifestyle portrayed in music and movies.