Los Angeles prosecutors are overhauling their controversial gang injunction program, reports the Los Angeles Times. The changes respond to criticism that the system makes it nearly impossible for people who turn their lives around or are mistakenly placed on a list to get out from under a court order. City Council members and community leaders complained that not one of the 11,000 people named in gang injunctions in the last two decades has been able to get off the list.
The injunctions against 50 gangs are a cornerstone of the city’s battle against street gangs. Authorities are starting a crackdown in response to a spike in gang crimes last year. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo has created a formal system under which someone can have their name removed from an injunction through a hearing with top administrators from his office. Delgadillo dropped a requirement that anyone who wants to be delisted publicly renounce membership in the gang in which he or she allegedly was involved. None has – partly in fear of retaliation by gang members. “It is important we do not criminalize communities, especially communities of color,” said John Mack, president of the L.A. Police Commission and former head of the L.A. Urban League.