Gang Awareness Prevention Assembly
Grades 6,7,8 - April 23, 2008
Oliver Street Grade School
See also: History of Gangs in the United States
Photo: Schyler, September 2006.
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You guys listen to 50 Cent/G-Unit. You think its cool. Gansta Rap. You like that singing that rap. But 50 Cent, he don't live in the hood. When he's done recording his music, he drives his limo back to his $5,000,000 mansion in Connecticut.
"The reason we are losing so many youth?"
two nights ago lost another 6 bin Irvington, NJ to gang violence
17 years in system
?pouring into prison system
from 16-21 years old
many getting 25-30 years in prison
Came from good homes, getting grades just like you.
It was the choices they made. Choices you make today will determine where you will be tomorrow.
14 years old a heinous crime. Gang related. 25 years
Tried as an adult. Northern State Prison at 17.
Started at ages your are
1st time 11 years old. Incarcerated.
Before you were born still incarcerated.
Don't know what you have been told about prison
A "Very dark place". If you lost it?.that's your freedom."
"I become your mother and father."
You probably have My Space accounts (2 girls in front of me shook their heads "nooo".
..up to 3:00 in the morning playing ?. And X-Box.
At the prison 9:00 every night the lights are out.
This program is to teach you about?
We get the worst of the worse.
Northern State Prison.
Get in program when renounce membership to gang.
Manipulated to joining gang. How it ruins their life.
End of officer's speech
in green/Khaki prison garb-prisoner at Northern State Prison:
22 years old. Incarcerated 4 years now.
I was here just like you-both parents. Baseball 9 years. My father not there emotionally/mentally. Drugs.
At 13 selling drugs. Working for love in return. Wanted what I wanted when I wanted. Looking for a father figure. Nice sneakers. Clothes. Self-esteem.
Trying to impress everyone. Money in my pocket.
1 ounce of weed only. Detention Center
[gang] Tattoo. Really not official gang member.
Got jumped by 4 individuals. Judge gave me a chance. Went back that day. Went back dealing.
"Who thinks their parents are corny?"
About 1 out of 6 or 1 of 5 children.
"You keep on hanging out with friends your hang out with going to be locked up."
Went behind his back, still selling drugs. Last years through school. Just stopped going. Got kicked out, wasn't going. Me and another gang member wanted to get drunk. Old lady. Trying to impress next man-robbed her. Knew it was wrong. Parents raised me, in front of police station. Locked up. Judge again gave me another change.
Hanging out with the same people. When we in trouble. Call mom. Money, can you come see me."
Robbed someone again.
I was 120 pounds with guys 300 pounds. Ate there in cell. Like animals.
On top of each other. Mom---You need to learn a lesson.
Fighting every day. Eating horrible things. Bailed him out. Went down south.
Still didn't learn. Beat him up, got beat up. Because of tattoo. After years locked up. Selling drugs.
Security threat Management Unit. Because former gang member. 2 weeks before finals. Shakedown. Contraband. Drugs. Caught with gang literature. Sent back to security. High threat. Put in cell. 23 hours a day.
Steel door with tiny window. Cell as wide as you can stretch. ?width. 4 feet longer than arm length-length. In cell with another
Looks like dog food. Use bathroom in cell. In cell 23/24 hours a day with someone you hate. w/guy w/2 life sentences.
Made me look back. "self-inventory".
Have 5 year old boy. 5 years sentence.
Didn't' take heed 13,143,15,16, 17, 18, 19, 21.
Took 9 years to realize they were using me.
Like chess-I was a paw in their gang.
Go out shackled in handcuffs. Come out your cage. Cages all around-inside-more cages.
Do kennels with 10 other gang members.
Shower every 3 days. Use phone 15 minutes or shower 15 minutes-every 3 days.
Program in prison:
Go to room. Twice a week-write in journal
1st time wrote what ate, what time got up. Now 2nd time-opened up-writing my feelings.
Addictive personality-other programs.
3rd phase in room with gang member of opposite gang.
I have to kill this person because he wears a different color
Made mistake. "Didn't listen to my parents.
1st time in-don't touch me-don't disrespect me-you won't have no problems.
2nd time-different attitude. Now realize every dude is like another dude.
Someone brainwashed me to believe to have someone because he wars a different color [like NFL football]
Didn't know I had low self-esteem until recently.
Trying to prove for someone else.
If they see me with a gang member, I'll go back to prison. The choices you make now-will effect your future.
End of Juan's speech
2nd Speech Benjamin
Northern St. Prison
Mother was using drugs. Tired to provide for me as best she could.
Grandmother: "People you are with effect your life. Didn't listen to her. Didn't have new clothes. Only hand me downs from cousins and others.
Played hookey. Couldn't go home. Walked around.
See older guys, nice cars, girls.
"Why aren't you in school?" he asked, not because he was interested in me, but so they could use me for whatever he wanted to do.
Drugs. Holding. Would hold drugs on steps.
Thought to myself, "If I was the one selling drugs, I could make a lot of money." 11 years old.
By the time I was 15, I had been In the detention center 11 times.
Arrested 25 times.
I was with another guy. He pulled out a gun and robbed a boy. l He was my friend. I didn't think he was going to get me in any trouble.
My grandmother came and bailed me out.
"I hope you are going to do the right thing, now." She said.
In 60 days, another charge. Judge offered me 30 years. "whole bunch of time." Didn't think the choices I made would affect me in the long run.
Kids making fun of me. Stopped going to school.
As sa result I became real violent.
30 years/25 years/10 years. Yardsville. School. Mandatory under 21.
Calling it an organization (the gang)
"Community". "Fight oppression."
Got jumped to see if you can hold yourself.
Your supposed to be fighting oppression, but you're getting oppressed.
Wanted to be accepted by other people.
I thought if other people accepted me. I was good to go.
9:00 lights out.
Released at 25 years old. Went back around the same guys. Did not visit me or write me.
But I wanted their approval.
Home 6 months arrested selling drugs.
TC program. Therapeutic Unit, even thought I didn't use drugs.
Didn't use drugs, thought I didn't have a problem
Violence, guns, cars, addicted to the lifestyle.
Didn't want other boys to think I wasn't cool.
Worried about what these people think. I needed education. Looking for a job.
Thought the only thing I knew was to sell drugs.
Education in prison:
On my GED needed 2250. I got 2100. I stopped going to school in 6th grade. I thought "that's' pretty good." Took it again. Just got it 2 weeks ago-32 years old.
Youngest daughter, oldest daughter. The mother kept the daughter away from me.
When I was in the prison, 3 days to go home. Shakedown. Found gang literature. STG Unite.
This is not mine. Went to detention 15 days, sent me to Northern State Gang Unit. All "my boys" here.
They teach you to reconstruct your thinking. Change the way of your thinking. Take my life serious. Seen a lot of guys get stabbed up. If you get stabbed up in the cage, with other 9 guys, the officers not going to come in until the rest of the guys are out of the cage.
I'm too old. To be a gang member.
Taking life more serious. We make bad decisions. Bad choices, might never see day light again.
Don't know how to use a cell phone or a computer.
Holding up jumper for STG (Gang Unit) in Northern State.
One size fits all. If your 300 pounds or 120 pounds, you get the same jumper.
Majority in Northern State (Newark) are gang members. 90%.
They give us "bobos"-lightweight sneakers, because too many guys were hurting, kicking with heavier shoes. This is called "Fresh scent" deodorant, nothing fresh about it. They give you this little tube of toothpaste-it has to last you 30 days. This is the toothbrush (tiny little toothbrush). They used to the bigger ones to make weapons out of the toothbrush.
"How easy is it to get fooled?" do you think its easy?
Put your finger on your chin (he puts it on his cheek) Half of the kids put their finger on their cheek. "see how easy it is to get fooled."
At one time these were two of the worst gang members we had. We go to colleges/churches. [to educate young people].
Some of you kids, don't listen to your parents, don't care. Talk back to your parents, talk back to your teachers.
There are no tough guys in prison.
Everyone in prison ins miserable.
You get one jumper, only issued one. There are no laundromats. How do they wash their jumper? As bad as it sounds, if they want to wash it, they have to use the toilet water.
The prison system is overcrowded. You are in with bad guys. A guy in jail for traffic tickets is in the same unit as the guy with a double life sentence.
They don't have that choice now. They lost that choice.
You need to listen up. Listen to the staff here (teachers) listen to your parents.
Gangs----prison or death.
14/15 years old shooting each other. Stupid. Your life means more than that.
"Disobedient, disrespectful to parents." Time to change that is now. You see boys kissing girls on the mouth in the hallway. You go to school and gangs put their sings up.
You listen to 50 Cent and Snoop Dog. If they did all those things they'd be dead.
Determined where you gonna be tomorrow.
If in prison you will wish you listened to us. Listen to these staff here, your mother and father.
How does it feel being locked up in a small room?"
It is a tough situation. It really s?.s. It is stressful., these 4 years.
Question about rape.
People get raped? It does not happen all the time. But it does happen.
What happens if you don't get out of bed?
If you don't get out they shout the 2nd time, but then 2 or 3 officers come to get you out of bed.
I'm 44 years old. From the worse projects around here. I have 6 children. My parents had 8 boys and 5 girls. We learned values from our parents. I made some bad choices, but woke up. My parents taught us better.
The females are the fastest growing group in gangs. When a female wants to be part of a gang, they play the dice game, if the dice comes out on 6, then she has to sleep with 6 gang members. Or she can get jumped and beat up to prove herself. Many end up in the hospital.
You see the boys with their pants down, their boxer shorts showing. You think its cool. Do you know where that started? In prison. When someone was gay they would where their pants down life that to let the others know. If you are walking down the street, show respect for yourself. Where your pants at your hips. Now I tuck my shirt in and wear my pants at my waist.
End of presentation--applause.
Gangs Presentation contact:
Robert Wilke, GAPP Coordinator
Special Investigations Division
PO Box 863
Trenton, NJ 08625-0863.
What did you think? "It helped me, it helped me not to do bad things."
See: U.S. Gang History