Regular readers know that criminality, in general, and gangs, in particular, are major interests of mine.
It’s kind of unavoidable, when you manage buildings in gentrifying neighborhoods.
If, like me, you’re interested in why people join gangs and how gang life has changed in LA over time, take a look at this personal essay in today’s LA Times.
Here’s the money quote:
“Now, there are still gangs and gang members, of course, but the eyeball test will tell you that their numbers are diminished. The overt gang members who boldly threw hand signs and who practically wore their shaved heads, tattoos, their Nike Cortez sneakers and other ever-changing attire like a work uniform are, to a significant degree, a thing of the past. In neighborhoods from Boyle Heights to Watts, homicide rates have declined sharply since the 1980s and 1990s.”
Yes, gangs are still around. But they’re in decline, thankfully.