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Groups Oppose Gang Injunction
updated: Mar 15, 2011, 6:34 PM
Source: YStrive, Youth Cinemedia, Movimiento Esperanza, PALABRA, PUEBLO
Several prominent youth and low-income oriented organizations are banding together to denounce the City of Santa Barbara's filing for a gang injunction, initially targeting 30 Eastside and Westside residents as known gang members.
The group of organizations listed below, say due process was not given in this crucial decision and it will not reduce crime. It came as a surprise to many community organizations that have been working on the issue of youth violence and other issues that affect the low-income community of Santa Barbara for several years.
The organizations believe that a healthy, safe and sustainable city is built and maintained by prioritizing the economic, social, and cultural needs of all our communities. This gang injunction filing comes at a time the City of Santa Barbara is proposing cutting funding to organizations who work with hard-core at risk youth. Also, vital services for working families have seen unprecedented budget cuts.
Despite the financial strain crime rates are going down in the city of Santa Barbara. Last year gang related crime dropped more than 10 percent.
Studies of gang injunctions in cities across the US found that they either did not significantly reduce incidences of violence in the area or actually increased incidences of violence in the targeted and surrounding areas.
We believe that implementing a permanent gang injunction is not the best use of our local resources to prevent crimes. We also disapprove of the way this decision was reached.
We believe that a critical decision that will impact a great number of residents was reached without an inclusive and representative community decision process. In fact, all of the process was kept confidential and discussed behind closed doors without public access. Our organizations met with Mayor Schneider and Chief of Police Sanchez yesterday and they acknowledge that the decision was made with no real community input.
|| Police Chief Cam Sanchez announced Tuesday that the city has filed for a gang injunction to combat the growing local gang problem.
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