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Crips and Bloods

NCJ Number
Crime and Justice International Volume: 13 Issue: 9 Dated: October 1997 Pages: 6-9
R. D. Flores
Date Published
October 1997
4 pages
This article reviews the history, current activities, and some causes of the Los Angeles-based gangs, the Crips and Bloods, and some suggestions are offered for preventing the formation and perpetuation of gangs.
According to the most accepted story, the Crips were first formed in 1969 under the leadership of Raymond Washington. Drawn from students who attended Washington High School, whose school color was blue, this gang grew quickly and preyed on citizens. Other gangs began to form to defend themselves against the Crips. Two of these gangs were the Brims and the Pirus. In the 1970s, the Brims and the Pirus formed an alliance of self-preservation that produced the gang now called the Bloods. Gang membership and criminal behavior were fueled by the deterioration of the inner city, as affluent blacks and whites moved to the suburbs. Gangs began to fill the void left by neighborhood social and economic deterioration. The 1980s saw a major increase in black gang membership and activity, as well as gang violence. The gang life was further promoted by the emergence of gangster rap music. Some gang members claim that they have sought to emulate the lifestyles and attitudes portrayed in the gangster rap songs. Female gang members have gained equal standing with male members in today's Crips and Bloods. Black gang members have a strong conviction that they are oppressed by "white society." The gang life of the Crips and Bloods is motivated primarily by the desire for financial gain through crime, including carjackings, narcotics trafficking, and armed robberies. Criminal gangs, such as the Crips and Bloods, can only be countered and prevented though a cooperative effort that involves local government, social groups, churches, the business community, schools, law enforcement, the court system, the correctional system, and the social services system.


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