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It could be argued that gangs are different now than they were when gangs of yester year like Kid Twist gang, the Paul Kelly gang, Five Points gang roamed and terrorized the streets. This commentator in a paper seems to reflect this view "Sure, I know gangs and I know the difference in character between the gangs of this generation and that. In those days, a gang might steal but the boys did not rape. The boys never killed, although they picked pockets. And they feared the law. It was only during the prohibition period that the law came to mean nothing. And that continues to this day. The good boys and the bad boys in my younger years respected the cops; today, a little punk is ready to fight it out with a cop. In the years of my youth, a woman could walk through the streets of New York unmolested. A barber shop quartet might stand on a street corner and do a little "mashing" but that was as far as it went. Today, nobody dares go into a public park at night and mugging has taken place on main thoroughfare". this was written in 1958(20).
In the early 1800's Boston's "The Hill" area had been a place of brothels, dance halls, and gambling houses. A former constable said that if an officer entered one of these houses of vice he risked his life and murder was done with impunity there. He also believed it would take military force to bring law and order(21 ).
In 1823 Boston Mayor Josiah Quincy and a group of volunteers raided the three or four block are that constituted "The Hill" the reason for the raid was to close down hangouts of prostitutes, gamblers, and vagrants, via liquor law violations (22 ).
There seem to be no stopping prostitution as a report 1855 by the Medical Board of Bellevue Hospital in New York City seems to indicate. The group issued a report to the Board of Governors of the Alms House of New York City which said "No rigor of punishment, no violence of public denunciation, neither exile nor the dungeon, nor yet the lingering malady with which Nature punishes [venereal disease] the practice, has ever effected its extermination [prostitution] for a single year" (23 ).