Social deviance has been a “normal” abnormality for many years. Deviance is defined as a “recognized violation of cultural norms” (Hollemans, 1998). However, within the realms of difference crime organizations, adult members have grown up knowing no other form of life. Therefore, for these people, having a life in organized crime is a cultural norm.
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In the Utah State Prison, one of the most prominent gangs in the Odgen Trece. Although membership is small, this Latino gang is extremely violent. It has been in existence for about 30 years and was created by Robert Terrazas when he was only twelve years old. Several of his biological family members are also incarcerated within the Utah State Prison. In the documentary “Lockdown: Utah State Prison,” his niece, Natalie, was interviewed.
At 27 years old, this is the only way of life she has ever known. Natalie has lost permanent custody of 4 of her five children, and the youngest is currently living with relatives. Although Natalie stated that she wished to do better by her daughter, she also states that it will be very difficult not to fall back into the gangway of life (cite the website for this program).
In the past, these types of deviant behavior were thought to belong almost exclusively to men. In the last 30 years, however, more women are becoming part of this “norm.” Although methamphetamine production was initially introduced in the 1960s through the exclusively male motorcycle club The Hells Angels, statistics show that in the recent past and current years, women are taking an active role in the use, production and distribution of methamphetamine (Jankot).
There is a hierarchy within the methamphetamine production organization. The most respected member of a team of individuals who produce this drug is the cook. This person is the individual who “cooks” the final product. This is the most respected individual who is on the team. Just under this position is the gas man, or juicer, who is the person that gets the anhydrous ammonia. This is a chief chemical in the production of methamphetamine and is very dangerous.
The ammonia is highly flammable and, when combined with water, creates a painful contact chemical burn to the skin. Additionally, when this product is inhaled directly, it causes chemical burns to the airway and lungs. The Shopper is the individual who gets the ingredients for the methamphetamine, and the Drug Ho’s provide sexual services to the cook’s for a high As the production of this drug gets larger, the group will splinter into other groups which generally maintain some sort of contact.
When the words “organized crime” are spoken, individuals commonly think of Mafioso. However, both of these criminal activities shown above are examples of organized crime. Organized crime is a group of individuals who band together for the exclusive of committing illegal activities. It is very difficult to get out of an organized crime “syndicate,” but it is possible. However, many individuals who have only known this way of life have a hard time resisting the lure of easy money and the adrenaline rush that comes with belonging to the gang (Smalley, 2009).
In conclusion, a member of an organized crime syndicate may not be able to walk away simply. There are many organizations that assist gang members in the attempt to withdraw from gang life, such as Operation No Gang, which operates out of El Paso, Texas, and the Southern area in New Mexico. Their goal is to assist young people in finding alternative lifestyles to prevent them from returning to gang life (Gallardo, n.d.). This can be effective for some individuals, but limited statistics do show that because a “gang banger’s” friends and family are all involved with this way of life, the individual, more likely than not, will eventually return, even if it is only to visit (Smalley, 2009).
Gallardo, R. (n.d.). Operation no gangs, the decision to live out the gangster lifestyle: “smile now cry later” – guaranteed. Web.
Hollemans, D. (1998). Social deviance. Web.
Jankot, R. (2007). “Cooks are like gods”: hierarchies in methamphetamine producing-groups. Deviant Behavior, 29, pp 667-689. © Tayler & Francis Group, LLC 0.
Lockdown: Utah State Prison (2007). Web.
Smalley, S. (2009). The draw of “dead town.” Web.