Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

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Source: Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

As a result of recent gang-related violence in Santa Barbara County, the 2019-20 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury initiated a study of gang incidents and how various agencies are addressing them. Law enforcement agencies county-wide have had to adapt to a changing legal landscape that allows more leniency in dealing with crime, and in particular juvenile crime. As a result, juveniles are joining gangs at a younger age, without the fear of legal consequences. The Probation Department, the Sheriff’s Department, and the police departments need to understand and help each other now more than ever to reconcile what is happening in street gangs with changes in the laws.

The Jury recommends that the Santa Barbara County District Attorney, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, the Santa Barbara County Probation Department, the Santa Barbara County Public Defender and the Police Departments of Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Lompoc and Guadalupe form a consortium and meet on an ongoing basis to fight gang crime in Santa Barbara County. The Sheriff’s Department in particular needs to be an integral part of the consortium. Gang units need to be at full strength and there needs to be stronger coordination among all police officers and Sheriff’s Deputies to share intelligence and information to prevent gang activities.

The complete report with agency responses are posted on the Grand Jury’s website: www.sbcgj.org [and attached below].

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Lucky 777 Jul 01, 2020 12:50 PM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

If the family does not offer a sense of belonging and responsibility, and if the educational system does not foster learning as an activity with purpose, then the young person floundering and needy goes to the gang. And our justice system no longer punishes bad behavior, so the thrill of transgression leads to worse.

Watcher237 Jul 02, 2020 07:23 PM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

From your friend in the SB Independent: Santa Barbara Gang Crime Is Up Violent Incidents Have Been Spiking Since the Beginning of 2018 Gang crime in the City of Santa Barbara is up, with a noticeable spike in gang-fueled incidents between 2017 and 2018 and this year’s numbers on pace to be even higher. Not only are there more overall cases, authorities say, they’ve increased in violence and intensity.

PitMix Jul 01, 2020 01:24 PM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

Don't kid yourself, if a kid commits a serious offense, they are going to spend some time in jail, get on a list, and get stopped by the local cops checking them out. What they cops are complaining about is the inability to get them held for a couple of days on a fairly minor crime due to Covid concerns. I can't believe that a beat cop can make a judgment not to process a kid because they think they will be out in a few hours. If this is being done, this is at the direction of cop managers and City/County politicians. If we have a problem with what is happening, it should be addressed at those levels.

a-1594327058 Jul 01, 2020 10:54 AM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

Schools out, church life minimal now.I have been involved with this SB problem for decades. You have to meet with the team leaders to prevent crime being their first choice. Former (rehabilitated) gang types can help. Years ago (1980's) we had a competitive "car low -rider rally" here where each gang entered a restored car, and they were paraded up State street to Earl Warren for see how to fix these cars up with mini-workshops on how, Got kids restoring cars, got them jobs. Crime dropped significantly and other competitions evolved. They also did paid community service. Seems like they could do more with Law Enforcement projects? Why not? Gov. Brown's California Conservation Corps (gang folks and inner city kids) helped build out Presidio Chapel at the State Park, and worked on public works projects. Unfortunately, this is an age where breaking rules and laws are rather normal behavior as they get more independent and have more chances with less enforcement. On the other hand they love projects which illustrate members and skills. Teen life is about being accepted into a group--now a mini mob or pack-- It is about having some role to play in these "pending adulthood" years. With schools out --Gangs and their evil intent are observable. Mao's China and use of kids as "red guards" torturing and acting out against people in need is always a risk these days with young people who protest our history, and trying to destroy it without real knowledge progress made over millennia--can only get worse. It's acknowledgement , some power they want; not a record of crime.

mjackman44 Jul 02, 2020 08:04 AM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

What kind of person would not honor that practicing one's religion is a right and a gift for people who need to believe in loving one's neighbor as oneself -- sounds right no? Radicals do start wars in the worst places where innocent people die. We know for certain that these kids need mentoring and churches are mentioned by kid who stop with their acting out. By the way it was church people who promoted and insisted on abolition and protected slaves when they ran. AA and Alanon are also highly effective. Please stop rewriting history to suit your own "religious" dogma.

RHS Jul 01, 2020 01:32 PM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

The implication that 'church' life would help in this sort of thing is pretty odd. How many wars has religion caused? How many wars has religion stopped? By all reports church going was a big deal before, during and after the Civil War. Don't see that church members stayed out of the fight to maintain slavery. etc

a-1594327058 Jun 30, 2020 09:14 PM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

Maybe if we didn’t have one of the worst public school systems in the country, and SBUSD complied with Cal/Fed regulations mandating it to assess and serve children suffering from depression and other mental health challenges, and educate them, we wouldn’t have a ‘gang problem.’

DBD Jul 01, 2020 10:33 AM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

I could see part of this being true in local elementary schools, but by the time kids are in jr high and highschool and thinking about joining gangs, the schools are a mix of kids from all levels of the community. We only have like public 3 high schools here, we aren't that divided.

1002110 Jul 01, 2020 09:13 AM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

Kids join gangs because their material conditions are such that they see gang life as the only way to provide for themselves and their families. Bad public schools barely scratches the service although it certainly doesn't help that rich families can put their kids in private school or public schools located in exclusive areas, leaving those in low income neighborhoods behind. Until we address the structural racism and classism in this community the children of poor parents will continue to be left behind.

PitMix Jul 01, 2020 08:43 AM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

School achievement starts at home, and the lower economic status homes these kids come from are not conducive to educational success. The numbers show that middle class and upper class kids get a fine education rivaling European School achievement. It isn't until you put in the lack of achievement by poor students that our schools start to look bad compared to other nations. None of these programs will be successful until we figure out how to develop an economic system that allows most or all of us to be in the middle class.

RHS Jun 30, 2020 06:24 PM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

What reactionary crap. The idea that "leniency" has encouraged young people to join gains is the justification for fascist government. Suppressing things only goes bad in the long run. Look to the cause and stop labeling things to simplify thought. "Gangs" are just associations of people, in this case the eternal rebellion of youth. Help them along instead of locking them up.

RHS Jul 01, 2020 01:29 PM
Grand Jury Suggests Police Consortium to Address Juveniles in Gangs

10:15 pm--I read the report and the summary printed here. Both are skewed to the view of law enforcement operatives that opposes rehabilitation and advocate for heavier penalties based on a retributive justice system that has never work. And some of the ideas suggested by the report are just ignorant of reality. For example, one cannot make an accurate list of gang members, etc., and criteria to do this on an individual case are so subject to manipulation as to be worthless. Just this week the state has brought pressure to destroy gang lists made by law enforcement because of proof that cops and probation officers lied to include people on the list they wanted to harass.

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