Archive for the ‘Gangs’ Category

You hear the daily stores about youth and gang-related shootings in Chicago and your mind begins to dull. You watch the rising death count and  you lose hope. You experience frustration and a sense that there is nothing you can do to make a difference in a world such as this. Yet, there IS something that YOU can do. I recently attended a meeting at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. Young men up to 16 come through the doors of the Detention Center every day, some arriving and many departing. For those that are leaving incarceration, there is a harsh world awaiting them. Most will return to the Detention Center at east once, and most will graduate on the Cook County Jail in only a very short period of time. They swiftly move from petty infractions to major crimes that land them in jail with hardened criminals. In this way the ranks of the gangs and criminal elements are reinforced by a system overwhelmed with the mandate to teach and mentor these young men, but underwhelmed by volunteers and teachers. The Juvenile Detention Center is meant to be not so much a place of punishment as it is a place of restoration and second chances. At this point in time, these young people still have a chance to turn their lives around, to make something of themselves. Once they leave and graduate to Cook County Jail, however, that chance is usually lost forever. That’s why this is such an important time, and that’s where YOU come in. The Good News Prison and Jail Ministry that oversees ministry to these kids is in dire need of people who can serve as mentors and work to bring after-Care to the young men released from the juvenile Center. You could be one of those people, a mentor who helps the releasee to center his focus and work through the difficulties that face every young person, but which impacts those who have been detained even more. YOU can help mentor a young person and provide them with hope that they can make it, they can overcome the odds, and they can make a difference themselves. If you would be interested in finding out more about Good News Prison and Jail Ministry, go to their website at:

http://www.goodnewsjail.org/

The ministry to youths in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center is directed by Arthur Killingsworth. His e-mail address is:

arthur.killingsworth@goodnewsjail.org

His Office Telephone Number is:  (312) 433-7124

Also feel free to contact this website for more information

Ron

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Once known to his Latin King colleagues as “Shadow,” Alex shared a story similar to many gang members in Chicago, drugs, thuggery, and incarceration. Alex was a friend of Edgar Orsini whose searching letter is prominently published under the headings of this blog. Together, they witnessed every dark place the gang lifestyle has to offer. Then, after a falling out, they split. Several years later, however, Alex committed his life to Christ and everything changed. Now he’s going back out to find those he left behind. See his story at:

http://dangerouspotentialministries.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/returning-in-triumph/

Also, visit his ministry website (http://dangerouspotentialministries.wordpress.com) for more about the change that Alex has experienced in his life.

Cities of Lonesome Fear: God Among the Gangs

Cry of the Streets 

A Willow Creek Jail and Prison Ministry:

                                     Hebrews 13:3

“Don’t forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.”

http://prisonandjailministryconnection.blogspot.com/.v

WGN TV is investigating mistakes in the recently published Gang Book. The link for the WGN story can be found at:

http://www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-wgntv-investigates-chicago-crime-commissions-gang-book-20120327,0,7611100.story

If you think you have been portrayed inaccurately in Gang Book 101, you may want to consider telling your story to Mark Suppelsa, the investigator of the story.

I was in heading down Buffalo Avenue at 83rd street this afternoon when I received a bit of a jolt. I was taking some kids home from church and as I was driving down the street I noticed a child lying on the sidewalk. I wondered if something was wrong so I slowed down to see if I could help. Then I noticed that there was a second child kneeling next to the first one. In his hands was a piece of chalk and he was drawing the outlined profile of the first child, an outline that depicted the alignment of a body at a death scene. This is gang territory, Latin Kings to be precise. And while I know the neighborhood has faced its challenges, I was shocked and saddened to see the casualness with which death was viewed by these two young children. It’s a shame that death can be taken so lightly, when it’s made to be child’s play. Please pray for this neighborhood, for the people, the children, and the gang members. God never intended child’s play to be displayed in the chalked outline of a death scene. God has better things planned for Buffalo Avenue.

You a banger? This is a story about another banger that made it. This is about Victor Rios, but it could be you. God has a plan for you too. Just let him have his way in your life. Read more about Victor at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReQar2BTlKY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvQzDzBIGR4    (in Spanish)

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/american-graduate/jan-june12/victor_rios.html

Several informative books on Chicago gangs can be found at:

http://www.ngcrc.com/ngcrc/page4.htm

Gangs are active on many fronts, each of which has different levels of gang involvement and needs different approaches for successful crime and violence reduction. Gangs are active on the streets, in the prisons, and in schools. They have infiltrated politics and criminal justice fields. This report discusses all of these areas. It’s the latest book on Chicago’s gangs.  Loaded with information. Find it at:

https://www.chicagocrimecommission.org/ItemParent.aspx?id=14

STRYVE: Striving to reduce youth violence everywhere. Interesting site aimed at reducing youth violence and offering an online training program to do just that. Find the site at:

http://www.safeyouth.gov/Pages/Home.aspx

Very cool group.  Ex gang members reaching out to the community and creating leaders to go back into gang neighborhoods using dance, rap, drama and technology.  Find their site at:

http://www.godsxgangsters.org/

For this brief and elementary primer on the organization of gangs go to:

http://lincolnnet.net/users/lrttrapp/http/block/gangs101.htm#structure

(Please note that this is not the same Gangs 101 referred to in the previous post).

This is a great website for those who want to know more about the gang lifestyle and how to resist it as an individual and as a community. The site is based in the Washington DC/Virginia area but has links that are valuable to those confronted by the gang culture nationwide. For more information go to :

http://hidtagangs.org/

This site will also allow you to get a free download of Henry Pachero’s book  Gangs 101: Understanding the Culture of Youth Violence. Here is the link:

http://hidtagangs.org/Downloads/Prevention/Gangs%20101%20-%20Understanding%20the%20Culture%20of%20Youth%20Violence.pdf

An inspiring article about one family and the intersection of gangs and sports in Compton’s Dominguez HS, Los Angeles. See more at:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1192636/1/index.htm.

Here’s a blog that those interested in the gang life might be interested in viewing. The blog is not for the faint of heart or those easily offended, but if you can cope, the site can be found at:

http://chicagogangs2011.blogspot.com/

Video: 18St Barrio Fiesiocho XV3St.

http://chicagogangs2011.blogspot.com/2011/03/18st-barrio-diesiocho-xv3st.html