Why would anyone join a gang? After interviewing countless gang members over the years, I compiled some of this information and formatted it to help anyone who reads it – from the suburban soccer mom to the hardened police officer. This book explores some of the primary reasons that young people join gangs with real-world examples. The layers of the “hard-core” gang member are removed to reveal his true essence. For the most part, we think that we know how society views gang members – law-breaking, violent thugs. Is this assessment true for all gang members? How does the gang member view the rest of society? This question is also answered in detail as we explore the mind of the “gangsta”.

I served over 10 years as a probation/parole officer in Wake County, NC. This county encompasses the capital city of Raleigh and has the largest recorded number of gangs in the state. I initiated quarterly Wake County Gang Suppression meetings comprised of local, state and federal officers and officials and served as the lead facilitator. I have also served as a consultant for other organizations dedicated to assisting gang members in turning their lives around and have presented to Superior Court judges at the University of North Carolina School of Government and numerous schools and churches.

As a result of talking with gang members on a daily basis and presenting gang information to assist community leaders, schools, and churches, I saw the need to put my presentations in book form. Hopefully, this will help all of us to bridge the communication gap and realize that we have more in common than we realize.

A Guide to the Gangsta Mentality
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