A Defence Lawyer Who Understands Calgary's Gangs

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Many people in Calgary look down on those accused of gang-related crimes, assuming they are somehow bad at heart. From the outside, it can seem like gang membership is a choice that certain people make—people who for some reason enjoy a life of violence, crime, and isolation from the rest of society. Looks can be deceiving, though, and in reality most gang members see very little choice and opportunity, and already feel like society has made them outsiders.

A Brief Overview of Calgary's Gang Demographics

If gangs were really just something certain people chose to join because of some inborn propensity for criminality, then things like economic status, neighborhood, and ethnicity wouldn't matter: we'd expect some people from all walks of life to end up as gang members. Even the most cursory look at Calgary's gang demographics shows that this is clearly not the case, and that gang membership is very much dependent on these demographic details.

Specifically, Calgary's gangs have been made up primarily of first- and second-generation Canadians living close to or below the poverty line, in communities that have traditionally been underserved by public services and that can be culturally and linguistically isolated. The youths in these communities don't see the same prospects for their future that many other Calgary families enjoy, and many see gang affiliation as a way to earn respect and to establish a measure of social importance.

The entrenchment of gang activity amongst a small part of these communities creates a cycle that can be difficult to break: when families are disrupted by arrests, greater distrust and dislike of the Calgary Police is created in the minds of many youths, and these youths then see gang affiliation as a more viable and positive choice. Should they become involved in criminal activity, their interactions with law enforcement will impact others, and the cycle continues.

In recent years, the City of Calgary and the Calgary Police have seen substantial success at reducing gang membership and gang activity with intervention programs meant to ensure all Calgary youths get to enjoy equal opportunities. These programs include law enforcement outreach that builds understanding between individuals, families, communities, and the Calgary Police officers who serve them. This has helped disrupt the cycle of police mistrust and gang affiliation, leading to safer and happier neighborhoods for all.

Contact a Compassionate Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer

If you or a family member has been charged with a gang-related crime, you need a lawyer who understands the complexities of Calgary's gangs and the available avenues for their defence. Susan Karpa is a dedicated Calgary criminal defence lawyer with extensive experience handling gang-related cases; you can contact her office any time for a free consultation. Being accused of gang-affiliation doesn't make you guilty, and it doesn't mean you don't deserve a full, fair, and vigorous defence. Call today and get the legal assistance that you're entitled to, and the help that you deserve.

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