This article explores the impact of music choices, with a scenario about gang rap music and interactive questions you can use to discuss this issue with your mentee. The article also offers facts about the history of rap and hip hop music, the nature of the lyrics, and the messages contained in this music, as well as tips for mentors on how to encourage discernment about music, cultivate positive musical interests, and explore the role models that teens look up to in popular culture.
Gangs are a fact of life in Santa Barbara, with a long generational history of neighborhood based gangs who defend their "turf" with violence. But in recent years, gang warfare, especially among juveniles, has escalated. Sadly, youth are being recruited into gangs at younger and younger ages, and often follow the paths of older siblings, cousins, or other members of their family into the gang lifestyle. Youth who are experiencing difficulty in school, who come from single parent families, or feel they need the protection that a gang offers because of the neighborhood in which they live are also vulnerable to gang recruitment.
The following resources can help mentors understand the gang culture and provide resources to help their mentees resist gang identification or recruitment.
South Coast Task Force on Youth Gangs
Read about local efforts to prevent gang violence and explore the local and national resources listed on this site.
This bulletin from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) presents research on why youth join gangs and how a community can build gang prevention and intervention services. The author summarizes recent literature on gang formation and identifies promising and effective programs
for gang prevention.
History of Street Gangs in America
This research article chronicles the emergence of street gangs from the Eastern US to the West Coast as we know them today.