myths about gangs

consequences of gang membership

It’s a fact that gangs have a very negative impact upon the family and close friends of those who choose to join. Joining a gang increases one’s exposure to drugs, alcohol, weapons, and violence. The likelihood of dropping out of school and ending up in jail or prison are also very real possibilities.

Over the years, gang membership has become synonymous with violence. Gang members, family, and friends of active gang members experience a realistic fear for their own personal safety and the safety of their family and neighborhood. It is not uncommon for gang members to suffer damage to personal property as well as grief, confusion and depression over the injury or loss of a loved one. Additionally, gang members become involved in illegal activities and are in and out of jail. They then become financial burdens to their families. The ultimate consequence gang members pay for their involvement is DEATH.

Today, gang members join at a very young age. Once a youth joins a gang and adopts the gang lifestyle, it is difficult to part from it.

youth do not consider they’ll:

  • be enemy’s to rival gang members and subject to their attacks
  • be exposed to dangerous drugs and alcohol
  • have criminal records
  • fear for the safety of family and friends
  • be seriously hurt or killed
  • probably dropout of school or end up in prison

additional consequences are:

  • PHYSICAL: Tattoos, cuts, bruises, broken bones, drug addiction, and death.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL: Stress, paranoia, burnout, and guilt (for killing or hurting others and parents)
  • SOCIAL: Poor academic record, lack of or loss of employment, extremely negative environment, no true, lasting or meaningful friendships or relationships, and loss of freedom (incarceration)
  • LEGAL: Criminal record (that follows you wherever you go), prosecution (under Step Act or vandalism laws), parents prosecuted under “Gang Mom” Law, and incarceration


  • How do you get out of a gang?
  • How do you make up for all the lost time?
  • How do you find a job after if you have a criminal record and/or no high school diploma?
  • How do you deal with the guilt knowing you were the cause for the death of a rival gang member, friend, or family member?