As I experienced in SC and before moving here, community leaders can't see or refuse to acknowledge gangs until it is too late because it's their kids being 'demonized'. They know that little Jonathan is a good kid wouldn't do anything like that, his misbehavior is just expressing his independence and rebellion. They don't see kiddy-scofflaws as broken-windows.
Economic theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable..._broken_window
Policing theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixing_Broken_Windows