Los Angeles County law enforcers are split over the effectiveness of fighting gang activity with court injunctions that restrict individual gang members, says the Los Angeles Times. Sheriff Lee Baca wants more injunctions; they prohibit named gang members in activities like congregating in parks and flagging down automobiles.
Baca, whose department enforces injunctions against three gangs, said the restrictions “are very, very useful in setting the tone for the neighborhood” and in sending a message to gang members that “whatever you do, it’s not only against specific laws, it’s also against the injunction, and we are going to hold you accountable,” The Times reported.
But Janet Moore, head of the district attorney’s Hardcore Gang Division, noted that they focus on civil offenses, that they must be narrowly tailored to be effective and that, without heavy investments of time and resources, “virtually all gang injunctions are doomed to failure.”
Moore emphasized other programs of the district attorney’s gang division, which has 50 lawyers with an average monthly caseload of 450 gang crimes, almost all of which are murders and attempted murders.