As more and more crimes are committed by gang members, many municipalities, states, and even the United States government, have found it necessary to enact gang-related legislation to protect persons and property.

These laws vary from state by state and some are more detailed as to subject matter than others. Some deal with acts committed by gang members as a felony, others as a misdemeanor, and still others combine both felony and misdemeanor acts. The subject matter of each state law also varies and ranges from gang recruitment, drive-by shootings and carjacking to graffiti; gang related clothing, curfew, and gangs in schools.

To determine if your state has gang-related legislation please click onto the link below.

PLEASE NOTE:

The gang legislation offered by the states in the link below may have changed or may have been superseded since the link was published.  Please use the information as a guide only.  The National Gang Center also has a disclaimer on the site.

GANG PROSECUTIONS

The state statutes and municipal laws contained in the above link do nothing to serve the law abiding public if the laws are not applied in a criminal court of law. In many jurisdictions, where gang crime represents a large portion of the court docket, Special Prosecution Units have been established to handle the caseload. These teams of experts, consisting of prosecutors and gang investigators have made great strides in the prosecutions and convictiºns of individual gang members. In some instances entire gangs have been convicted and dismantled.

Prosecutors encounter many problems when prosecuting gang members. Too often juveniles, acting on the orders of the gang leader, commit the crimes. Many times, witnesses, through fear or intimidation, are reluctant to provide information and refuse to testify in a court of law.

Click on to the link below to view a National Institute of Justice survey that, among other topics, includes: Issues and Findings, Research on Gangs and Gang Prosecution, and Victim/Witness Cooperation and Protection.

 

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Robert Walker
 

This page was last updated on 03/14/2014

 

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