Nothing stops a bullet like a job: Homeboy Industries and the gangs in L.A.

The recession leaves many people in a financial gridlock. Individuals feel the pressure to secure their finances, and some may resort to unlawful activities to make ends meet.

With this thought, Southern California is an interesting area to study because it has been in a recession longer than the rest of the nation.

With nearly 40% of immigrants to California settling in Los Angeles, the rise in population combined with a growing number of poor people with little choices causes cultural tension. Gang violence can grow out of that tension.

In 2007, there were an estimated 700 gangs active with a combined population of 40,000 members. Compare that to an estimated 15,000 gang members in 2002, and it becomes clear that the city is in the midst of a gang crisis.