African-American gangs differ from Hispanic gangs, most markedly in terms of language and national orientation. Within racial groups there are major differences, too. Vietnamese gangs do not join with Hong Kong Chinese gangs - who do not join with Taiwan Chinese gangs. White gangs tend to be skinhead/Aryan-based in their orientation but, obviously, there is no room in that profile for Israeli and Russian Jewish membership. Indeed, European and Middle Eastern-ethnic gangs usually act out the role of "soldier corps" for organized criminal "undergrounds" of long-established tradition, such as the Mafia and various Levantine black market networks. Chinese gangs operate on the cusp of tradition and rebellion: some are arms of traditional "triad" criminal organizations transplanted from Asia to the U.S., others are New World challenges to triad authority.
It becomes a matter of practicality, then, that a major factor in establishing effective dialogue between law enforcement and gangs involves setting-up on the criminal justice side of the equation a specialized staff of personnel with direct ties to the ethnic/racial/language orientation of a specific gang. This is not to exclude non-ethnic officers from interviewing gang members, but at the very least it should be recognized that the interviewer must know the gang member's native tongue if he is to be able to hear and understand the complex web of communications signals sent to him by the interviewee. This includes "body language" and, obviously, as a further step towards better communication, it is essential for the interviewer to be familiar with the gang member's ethnic culture and its societal characteristics.
Still, differences aside, as a working proposition the law enforcement officer must look for those characteristics that are "typical" of most gang members, regardless of ethnic or racial orientation. Upon that foundation a dialogue can be built and true, two-way c...
Communication System in Crimanal Justice. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 15:43, June 30, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303827530.html