Difficult Decisions

Members make the decision to leave a gang for reasons specific to each individual. One member may decide to leave for separate and more demanding reasons than another member. Members come to the realization that their life is being wasted away. Others decide to leave after experiencing violent situations either directed upon themselves, another member of their gang or even their families. Separation from these organizations steams from when members simply move on; they find a job, start a family, etc. (Burke 2). But the change in lifestyle does not come without severe price. Obstacles may include difficulty to advance in the working world due to past affiliation. Threats and acts of violence toward leaving members are also a factor. But for those select few who fully break those ties, their physical belonging within their tattoos remain. Fortunately many programs that are becoming more and more prominent within gang communities and inner cities often times through church groups, help former members to shy away from the ill effects of gang life and towards more positive ones (Harris 3).

-Alex D.

Works Cited:

- Burke, Todd, Ph.D. “Erasing the Past: Tattoo-Removal Programs for Former Gang Members.” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin: Criminal Justice Periodicals. August (2008):n. pag. Web. 1 Dec. 2010.

- Harris, Lilana. “Migrant Gangs, Religion, and Tattoo Removal.” Religion & Immigration Project, U San Francisco, CA. December (2002):n. pag. Wed. 1 Dec. 2010.

- Mitchell, Kirk. Coving Up old Gang Tattoos. 14 June. 2010. JEPG File.