I won’t back down
From: Gang Life
Jake, who is Caucasian and twenty-eight years
old, takes us on a whirlwind tour that parallels the emotional and
behavioural problems that plagued his childhood with his life in
a gang. He was adopted as a toddler into an affluent home with
good parents. A slave to his emotions and lack of impulse control,
the allure of money, women, and drugs impelled him to join
one of the fiercest gangs in Western Canada. He was an enforcer
and debt collector not only for his own gang, but also for a biker
gang. He came by his obsession with toughness honestly — his
father modelled and rewarded Jake with this behaviour when he
was a youngster. Jake never backed down from a confrontation
and now, out of the gang for a couple of years, he is not backing
down from the challenges of creating a new life for himself.
MARK TOTTEN is a professor of criminal justice at Humber College in Toronto whose research focuses on organized crime, corrections, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, mental health, violence, and gender identity. Over the past decade, he has collaborated with groups in Ontario and Western Canada in the development and evaluation of multi-year gang prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies.