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  1. #1
    Big Sexy's Avatar
    Big Sexy is offline Not your mothers BIG SEXY
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    Post REPORT SAYS GANG SUPPRESSION TACTICS FAIL

    NEW REPORT SAYS GANG SUPPRESSION TACTICS FAIL TO REDUCE CRIME, CAN WORSEN PROBLEM

    A new report released last week says that traditional gang suppression tactics not only fail to reduce crime, but can actually worsen the problem. The report, “Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies,” was produced by the Justice Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that seeks to end society’s reliance on incarceration and promotes effective and just solutions to social problems.

    According to the report, in cities like Los Angeles where gang activity is most prevalent, more police, more prisons, and more punitive measures haven’t stopped the cycle of gang violence. The report says that its “most surprising” conclusions are that gangs are responsible for a relatively small share of crime; gang activity has not grown in the U.S.; whites make up a large – if largely invisible – proportion of gang members; most gang-involved youth quit before reaching adulthood; and heavy-handed suppression tactics can increase gang cohesion while failing to reduce violence.

    “The current preoccupation with gangs is a distraction from very real problems of crime and violence that afflict too many communities,” says report co-author Kevin Pranis. “Gangs do not drive crime rates, and aggressive suppression tactics simply make the situation worse by alienating local residents and trapping youth in the criminal justice system. Our review of the research found no evidence that gang enforcement strategies have achieved meaningful reductions in violence, but ample proof that science-based social service interventions can curb delinquency.”

    The report says that New York City, by contrast, did not embrace the aggressive tactics chosen elsewhere when gang crime was on the rise, and has experienced far less gang violence. When gang violence became a serious problem, the city established a system of well-trained street-workers and gang intervention programs, grounded in effective social work practices and independent of law enforcement. Gang experts conclude that the city’s serious problem with street gang violence had largely faded away by the 1980s, and that crime is at an historic low in New York.

    In addition to Los Angeles and New York, the report also examines gang problems and gang enforcement efforts in diverse jurisdictions including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, St. Louis, and the state of North Carolina.

    Based on a review of existing research, Gang Wars draws the following conclusions: (1) gang members account for a relatively small share of crime in most jurisdictions; (2) the public face of the gang problem is black and Latino, but whites make up the largest group of adolescent gang members; (3) gang control policies make the process of leaving more difficult by continuing to target former members after their gang affiliation has ended; and (4) heavy-handed suppression efforts can increase gang cohesion and police-community tensions, and they have a poor track record when it comes to reducing crime and violence.

    The report advocates that public policy be directed toward reducing youth violence by doing the following: (1) expand the use of evidenced-based practice to reduce youth crime; (2) promote jobs, education, and healthy communities, and lower barriers to the reintegration into society of former gang members; and (3) redirect resources from failed gang enforcement efforts to proven public safety strategies.
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  2. #2
    Ducky's Avatar
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    I still like the idea of tossing them all into one big, windowless room together, then toss in some weapons and locking the box behind them. Give it a week, then hose it out and start over.
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  3. #3
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    I still like the idea of tossing them all into one big, windowless room together, then toss in some weapons and locking the box behind them. Give it a week, then hose it out and start over.
    Sounds like a great idea to me. Let them kill themselves off. Make sure the guns have ammunition.


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  4. #4
    countybear's Avatar
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    Interesting... but I wonder if the same results that New York had might have also been reached by the police focusing upon the crimes committed themselves and the perpetrators individually, thus turning away from the associative nature of the gang structure as a unit and a contributing factor. Refusal to recognize anything but the criminally deviant behavior itself could have brought about a dismissal of the "gang" identity...

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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  5. #5
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Our review of the research found no evidence that gang enforcement strategies have achieved meaningful reductions in violence
    And that's it right there. Our society is results-driven. I can understand that. They're not seeing results. What they're seeing is no reduction in violence. I would argue that suppression tactics are working, but that the gang culture, and the violence associated with it, is also growing at an alarming rate. This is due to a number of factors, the media glamorization of the lifestyle (think Snoop Dogg and all the rest) being at the top of the list. Thus, all our suppression tactics are doing right now is maintaining the status quo in the face of mounting tension and aggression. It's like trying to bail out a boat that's filling with water.

    This article, and the study it cites, are obviously written by individuals who's shoes aren't tarnished by the shit we wade into on the streets. I wonder how many to-the-death gang members these scholars actually dealt with. If they met with any hardcore bangers at all, they would see that coddling and progressive reform don't work for the majority of those violators who pledge their lives to their set. If you're not with them, it doesn't matter. And if you're on the OTHER side of the law, whether you're law enforcement or not, you're nothing but "gub'mint" to them, and you're only fooling yourself if you think you can change the viewpoints of the majority of them.

    In the State of Colorado, there are over 12,000 DOCUMENTED bangers of various gangs and sets, with nearly all of them concentrated in the Denver Metro area. That number doesn't seem that large to someplace like greater L.A. (pretty much the birthplace of the modern street gang), where their numbers are closer to 100,000. But when you consider the fact that the Denver metro area enompasses a little over 1,000,000 people with only 500K in Denver proper, compared to L.A. with several million in the city limits alone, now you begin to see the problem. And like I said, those are DOCUMENTED members...there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, who either haven't been contacted by LE yet, or haven't been suspected of being in a gang. Then there's the dozens of new members everyday.

    One of our members, Coloradocop, works in one of the busiest of Denver's 6 police districts. I'm hoping he chimes in here. As a gang officer (uniformed patrol, but assigned to a gang detachment), I attend all kinds of monthly seminars and meetings in relation to my assignment. I was at the monthly meeting of my county's gang task force. Several members of Coloradocop's district's street crimes team were there. They passed on the startling information that their corner of the city had had EIGHTEEN TO TWENTY shootings in the past two weeks alone, 5 of which had turned into homicides when their victims kicked the bucket. More than one shooting a day. Nearly all, if not all, of them were gang-related. You ask the men and women that Coloradocop works with--the ones who have to wade into the shit and make arrests after these bloodbaths--ask them if they think the suspects they deal with can ever be "reformed" or "nursed" back into functional society. Remember that we're talking about people who pull up next to eachother at stoplights and shoot eachother in the head for no other reason other than what stupid gesture of loyalty they make with their hand. I would make a pretty educated guess as to what answers you would receive.

    One thing I've learned, is that there are no wannabes anymore. The days past of little shitheads running around throwing up signs at school, but being relatively harmless at the end of the day, are G-O-N-E. So they haven't been jumped in yet. So what? The public's first mistake is labeling a gang mamber as a wannabe. Black, white, latino, jumped in or not...more and more kids are committing violence in the name of their set than ever before. Whether their set is the 104th CMG Bloods out of L.A. with hundreds of members, Tre Tre Crips out of Denver with several dozens of members, or the Main St. SURX3 out of their Bum Fuck Egypt hometown with 8 members...the bottom line is that they're propogating violence on behalf of their set.

    The ideology is the same, and the second more agencies around the country begin to realize that a small-town BFE banger can stab someone just as efficiently as an L.A. Crip, our tactics will grow more towards effective COMBATING the problem. Notice I didn't say eradicate, as I believe that we'll never be able to "cure" the nation of the scourge of gangs. That's the fundamental belief difference between me and those jemokes that wrote that study. We'll always have gangs. No one will ever "win" the war, as it is fundamentally unwinnable, much like the Drug War. The unattainability of victory, however, is a cowardly reason to stop fighting.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  6. #6
    Jks9199 is online now The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    121Traffic -- I'd have repped you if I could've...

    I'm a gang detective. In my area, we use a multi-prong approach including prevention, intervention, and suppression. All parts are essential; none works alone. Prevention hits kids and communities before they join; intervention gets the hang-arounds. Suppression deals with the hardcore bangers. Intervention efforts on hardcore bangers don't work; suppression tactics on a kid who is barely at the hang-around stage can easily push him into the gang's waiting arms.

    This study was financed and conducted by a group that opposes incarceration; not surprisingly, they found that suppression, which is an incarceration heavy response, doesn't work. I bet if one of the gang investigators associations conducted a similar study... they'd point to the reduction in calls for service in known gang areas, lowered rates of FBI Part I offenses that occur in those areas, and the number of people arrested for "quality of life" crimes as evidence that suppression approaches do work. Nor can you measure crimes prevented; for example, we were out and arrested a guy for carrying a concealed weapon, a knife. We know we prevented a stabbing and possibly a homicide. But it was prevented, so it will never show up as a stat... I also wonder how they conducted their comparisons; reliable tracking of gang offenses and separation of gang offenses from other offenses is rare (and that's without even getting into non-gang motivated offenses by bangers...).

    As I started with -- gangs are a complex problem with social, governmental, and criminal aspects. You can't solve them with one approach; you need to combine approaches. You need education for the community, parents, teachers, social workers, and others so that they recognize signs of gang presence or activity, and respond appropriately. You need prevention education targetting the right people before they get pulled in -- and that includes diversion programs so that they've got something to do other than bang. You need intervention programs to get at the ones dipping their toes in the water -- and the relatively few that are involved but want out (a complex problem all its own!). And you need to arrest the bangers committing crimes, lock them away, and keep them from being able to resume the gang lifestyle when they get out. (Prison gangs are another aspect of the problem...) And we need Hollywood and the music industry to stop glamorizing bangers. Of course, that requires society to stop letting them be glamorized, which brings us back full circle to education...

  7. #7
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    Rep to both of you...

    Well thought out and compelling arguments.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
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  8. #8
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    Interesting article...they bring up some valid points, but I'd also have to disagree with quite a bit of the "findings"
    "That's how we roll"

  9. #9
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    Jks9199 and 121Traffic, I couldn't agree with you more! I have long argued that it is much easier to quantify "failure" than to quantify success when it comes to prevention. Because human development is multi-faceted, so too must be approaches to the social problems that plague our communities. My department just eliminated our prevention and youth programs, partially due to "budget cuts", although it's no secret that the programs have not had administrative support. These have been seen as "fluff" and "not a part of real police work". Our city is facing a huge influx of the criminal element moving out of the Los Angeles/Orange County/San Diego areas for the "affordable housing" of the Inland Empire. I shudder to think about what my city will look like in a couple of years.

    This study also fails to acknowledge what most studies won't even touch - personal accountability. So many of the people who like to spew out these studies want to place the blame everywhere else but the individual who makes the c-h-o-i-c-e to become involved in gang and other criminal activity. Many will say poverty is the problem. Yet, this ghetto criminal mind set clearly spans all socio-economic levels - ergo the likes of Snoop, Fifty Cent, et al. Society screams for the police to solve the problem, then chastises us in the name of "civil rights" when a criminal is legitmately apprehended. Criminal behavior is not your "civil right".

    Add to the problem the lack of consequences for those who commit crimes. I know I'm not alone here, but I can't begin to tell you the number of felons I've arrested who plead out on the case and get 150-180 days "to be served on consecutive weekends" . This happens with property crimes and violent felonies alike. There is a significant faction of criminals who continue the behavior because they know they can get away with it.

    As has already been stated, it is a technically "unwinnable" battle. However, until we as a society stop lowering standards to accomodate the deviants of society, the problems will continue to grow. I refuse to give up. I alone am not going to change the world, but I can at least make a small dent in my little corner of it and hope that someone else will do the same.
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  10. #10
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Wow, these are really thought-provoking and persuasive posts. The article BigSexy posted made sense to me at first, but the posts by 121Traffic, JLK, and adroitcuffs really made me think about another side of the story. These are alternative perspectives that I seldom see in my liberal yuppie world!

    There were a lot of gang members in my high school, and sometimes they even killed each other. I never really understood what they valued about gang life, as I was too busy trying to stay out of their way to actually talk to them.

    I can see what you all are saying about the value of getting gang members off the streets. But what happens after gang members who are imprisoned finish their sentences and are released? Do they go back to their gangs until they get arrested again? Are there ways to rehabilitate them in prison that actually work?

    And what kinds of prevention and diversion strategies actually work? Are those strategies mainly dependent on schools and community groups and out of the hands of law enforcement?

 

 

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