Gang-Related Legislation by Subject Index

Gang-Related Findings and Declarations

Arkansas (view all subjects for this state)

Arkansas § 5-42-202. General Legislative Findings, Declarations, and Intent

(a) (1) The General Assembly finds that the state of Arkansas is experiencing an increase in crime committed by criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises.

(2) These criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises support themselves by engaging in criminal activity for profit, most commonly through the distribution of controlled substances and by theft of property.

(b) (1) The General Assembly further finds that with increasing frequency, criminals are using sophisticated means of concealing criminal proceeds and, in most cases, moving criminal proceeds out of Arkansas.

(2) (A) In order to reap the rewards of their criminal conduct, criminals must conceal the source of the criminal proceeds and the identity of the individuals who work to obtain the criminal proceeds.

(B) They convert the criminal proceeds to property or assets that appear to have come from a legitimate source.

(C) (i) Often they must maintain the property or assets in another person's name.

(ii) This also helps them to avoid detection, identification, and seizure.

(3) (A) While individual criminals launder their criminal proceeds, this is particularly common among members and associates of criminal gangs, organizations, and enterprises.

(B) There is strong evidence that this increased sophistication is due largely to contact with other criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises from other states.

(c) The General Assembly further finds that we cannot afford to allow millions of dollars in untaxed criminal proceeds to be taken from the state's economy each year.

(d) The intent of the General Assembly is to enact penalties that will:

(1) Deter and punish the criminal use of property or the laundering of criminal proceeds; and

(2) Facilitate the investigation of the criminal use of property or the laundering of criminal proceeds.

Arkansas § 5-74-102. Legislative Intent

(a) (1) The General Assembly finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of groups engaging in random crimes of violence and committing crimes for profit and violent crimes committed to protect or control market areas or "turf."

(2) It is not the intent of this subchapter to interfere with the constitutional exercise of the protected rights and freedoms of expression and association.

(3) The General Assembly recognizes the right of every citizen to harbor and constitutionally express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to associate lawfully with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.

(b) (1) The General Assembly further finds that the state of Arkansas is experiencing an increase in crime committed by criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises.

(2) These criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises support themselves by engaging in criminal activity for profit, most commonly through the distribution of controlled substances and theft of property.

(3) These criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises are becoming increasingly sophisticated at avoiding arrest and prosecution.

(4) With increasing frequency, criminals are using the property of another person which has been stolen, borrowed, leased, or maintained in another person's name to avoid detection and identification.

(5) This is particularly common among members and associates of criminal gangs, organizations, and enterprises.

(6) There is strong evidence that this increased sophistication is due largely to contact with other criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises from other states.

(c) (1) The General Assembly further finds that criminal gangs, organizations, and enterprises control their market areas by terrorizing the peaceful citizens in their neighborhoods with deliberate and random acts of violence.

(2) "Drive-by" shootings are becoming all too common in many Arkansas cities.

(3) One of the primary reasons for the increased homicide rate is the use of firearms by criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises to control the crack cocaine market within their geographical "turf."

(d) (1) The General Assembly further finds that in addition to the activity of street gangs, there are also other types of criminal organizations or enterprises operating in Arkansas.

(2) Some examples are garages that take parts from stolen automobiles, burglary or retail theft rings, and narcotics distribution organizations.

(3) The number of crimes committed by criminal organizations of all types is increasing.

(4) These ongoing organized criminal activities present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and are not constitutionally protected.

(e) (1) It is the intent of the General Assembly to use as a model the federal Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute, 21 U.S.C. Section 848.

(2) This should provide law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and our courts with ample case law to guide in the interpretation of the language and the legislative intent.

(3) It is furthermore the intent of the General Assembly to focus the state's law enforcement agencies and prosecutors on investigating and prosecuting all ongoing organized criminal activity and to provide for penalties that will punish and deter organized ongoing criminal activity.

Arkansas § 5-74-201. Legislative Intent

(a)(1) The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of groups engaging in random crimes of violence, and committing crimes for profit and violent crimes committed to protect or control market areas or "turf".

(2) It is not the intent of this subchapter to interfere with the constitutional exercise of the protected rights and freedoms of expression and association.

(3) The General Assembly recognizes the right of every citizen to harbor and constitutionally express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to associate lawfully with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.

(b)(1) The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas further finds that the State of Arkansas is experiencing an increase in crime committed by criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises.

(2) These criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises support themselves by engaging in criminal activity for profit, most commonly through the distribution of controlled substances and theft of property.

(3) These criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises are becoming increasingly sophisticated at avoiding arrest and prosecution.

(4) With increasing frequency, criminals are using the property of another person which has been stolen, borrowed, leased, or maintained in another person's name to avoid detection and identification.

(5) This is particularly common among members and associates of criminal gangs, organizations, and enterprises.

(6) There is strong evidence that this increased sophistication is due largely to contact with other criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises from other states.

(c)(1) The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas further finds that criminal gangs, organizations, and enterprises control their market areas by terrorizing the peaceful citizens in their neighborhoods with deliberate and random acts of violence.

(2) “Drive-by” shootings are becoming all too common in many Arkansas cities.

(3) One of the primary reasons for the increased homicide rate is the use of firearms by criminal gangs, organizations, or enterprises to control the crack cocaine market within their geographical “turf”.

(d)(1) The General Assembly of the State of Arkansas further finds that in addition to the activity of street gangs, there are also other types of criminal organizations or enterprises operating in Arkansas.

(2) Some examples are garages that take parts from stolen automobiles, burglary or retail theft rings, and narcotics distribution organizations

(3) The number of crimes committed by criminal organizations of all types is increasing.

(4) These ongoing organized criminal activities present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and are not constitutionally protected.

California (view all subjects for this state)

California Ed Code § 35183. Dress Codes and School Uniforms; “Gang-Related Apparel”; Regulations; Free Speech; Notice and Economic Assistance; Noncompliance Option

(a) The Legislature finds and declares each of the following:

(1) The children of this state have the right to an effective public school education. Both students and staff of the primary, elementary, junior and senior high school campuses have the constitutional right to be safe and secure in their persons at school. However, children in many of our public schools are forced to focus on the threat of violence and the messages of violence contained in many aspects of our society, particularly reflected in gang regalia that disrupts the learning environment.

(2) "Gang-related apparel" is hazardous to the health and safety of the school environment.

(3) Instructing teachers and administrators on the subtleties of identifying constantly changing gang regalia and gang affiliation takes an increasing amount of time away from educating our children.

(4) Weapons, including firearms and knives, have become common place upon even our elementary school campuses. Students often conceal weapons by wearing clothing, such as jumpsuits and overcoats, and by carrying large bags.

(5) The adoption of a schoolwide uniform policy is a reasonable way to provide some protection for students. A required uniform may protect students from being associated with any particular gang. Moreover, by requiring schoolwide uniforms teachers and administrators may not need to occupy as much of their time learning the subtleties of gang regalia.

(6) To control the environment in public schools to facilitate and maintain an effective learning environment and to keep the focus of the classroom on learning and not personal safety, schools need the authorization to implement uniform clothing requirements for our public school children.

(7) Many educators believe that school dress significantly influences pupil behavior. This influence is evident on school dressup days and color days. Schools that have adopted school uniforms experience a "coming together feeling," greater school pride, and better behavior in and out of the classroom.

(b) The governing board of any school district may adopt or rescind a reasonable dress code policy that requires pupils to wear a schoolwide uniform or prohibits pupils from wearing "gang-related apparel" if the governing board of the school district approves a plan that may be initiated by an individual school’s principal, staff, and parents and determines that the policy is necessary for the health and safety of the school environment. Individual schools may include the reasonable dress code policy as part of its school safety plan, pursuant to Section 32281.

(c) Adoption and enforcement of a reasonable dress code policy pursuant to subdivision (b) is not a violation of Section 48950. For purposes of this section, Section 48950 shall apply to elementary, high school, and unified school districts. If a schoolwide uniform is required, the specific uniform selected shall be determined by the principal, staff, and parents of the individual school.

(d) A dress code policy that requires pupils to wear a schoolwide uniform shall not be implemented with less than six months’ notice to parents and the availability of resources to assist economically disadvantaged pupils.

(e) The governing board shall provide a method whereby parents may choose not to have their children comply with an adopted school uniform policy.

(f) If a governing board chooses to adopt a policy pursuant to this section, the policy shall include a provision that no pupil shall be penalized academically or otherwise discriminated against nor denied attendance to school if the pupil’s parents chose not to have the pupil comply with the school uniform policy. The governing board shall continue to have responsibility for the appropriate education of those pupils.

(g) A policy adopted pursuant to this section shall not preclude pupils that participate in a nationally recognized youth organization from wearing organization uniforms on days that the organization has a scheduled meeting.

California Pen Code § 186.21. Legislative Findings and Declaration

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. It is not the intent of this chapter to interfere with the exercise of the constitutionally protected rights of freedom of expression and association. The Legislature hereby recognizes the constitutional right of every citizen to harbor and express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to lawfully associate with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process. The Legislature, however, further finds that the State of California is in a state of crisis which has been caused by violent street gangs whose members threaten, terrorize, and commit a multitude of crimes against the peaceful citizens of their neighborhoods. These activities, both individually and collectively, present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and are not constitutionally protected. The Legislature finds that there are nearly 600 criminal street gangs operating in California, and that the number of gang-related murders is increasing. The Legislature also finds that in Los Angeles County alone there were 328 gang-related murders in 1986, and that gang homicides in 1987 have increased 80 percent over 1986. It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to seek the eradication of criminal activity by street gangs by focusing upon patterns of criminal gang activity and upon the organized nature of street gangs, which together, are the chief source of terror created by street gangs. The Legislature further finds that an effective means of punishing and deterring the criminal activities of street gangs is through forfeiture of the profits, proceeds, and instrumentalities acquired, accumulated, or used by street gangs.

California Pen Code § 13826. Legislative Findings, Declarations, and Intent

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) That violent activity by gangs is a serious and growing problem in the State of California.

(b) There is an increasing percentage of school age pupils involved in gang activity.

(c) There are many schools that serve a disproportionate number of youth involved in gang activity which are unable to effectively implement programs designed to prevent youth from becoming involved in gang activity. There is no statewide funded educational program developed for this purpose.

(d) There is evidence that gang involvement among youth begins at an early age.

(e) There is evidence that the parents of gang members lack appropriate parenting skills.

(f) There is evidence that drug activity is increasing among youth involved in gang activity.

(g) There is evidence that gang members have no contact with positive role models.

(h) There is evidence that most gang members lack basic educational skills.

In enacting this chapter, the Legislature intends to support increased efforts by district attorneys' offices to prosecute the perpetrators of gang violence, support increased efforts by local law enforcement agencies to identify, investigate, and apprehend perpetrators of gang violence, support increased efforts by county probation departments to intensively supervise gang members who are on court-ordered probation, support gang violence prevention and intervention efforts by school districts and county offices of education, and support gang violence suppression efforts by community-based organizations.

California Pen Code § 13826.11. Legislative Findings and Declarations;

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares the following:

(1) There is a greater threat to public safety resulting from gang- and drug-related activity in and near California's inner cities.

(2) Young people, especially at-risk youth, are more vulnerable to gang- and drug-related activity during the potentially unsupervised hours between the end of school and the time their parents or guardians return home from work.

(3) Without local prevention and treatment efforts, hard drugs will continue to threaten and destroy families and communities in and near the inner cities. Drug-related violence may then escalate dramatically in every community, and thereby burden the criminal justice system to the point that it cannot function effectively.

(4) Los Angeles currently leads the nation in the number of gang members and gang sites, the consumption of drugs, the amount of drugs confiscated, drug-related violent crimes, and has the greatest number of young people between 6 and 18 years of age who are "at risk."

(5) It is the intent of the Legislature that a pilot program, the "After School Alternative Program" (ASAP), be established and implemented within a specified Los Angeles community. This community program would utilize the public schools, businesses, and community facilities to provide supportive programs and activities to young people during the time between the end of school and the return home of their parents or guardians (from approximately 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

California Pen Code § 13826.15. Legislative Findings and Declarations; Priority; Special Considerations for Rural and Suburban Counties

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the implementation of the Gang Violence Suppression Program, as provided in this chapter, has made a positive impact in the battle against crimes committed by gang members in California.

(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that the program, when it was originally created in 1981, provided financial and technical assistance only for district attorneys' offices. Since that time, however, the provisions of the program have been amended by the Legislature to enable additional public entities and community-based organizations to participate in the program.

Colorado (view all subjects for this state)

Colorado § 16-15.8-101. Legislative Declaration

(1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(d) The safe2tell program has a proven record of success in prevention and intervention in cases of threats to people or property, assaults, bullying, child abuse, substance abuse, cutting, suicide, gangs, weapons, internet safety, or other unsafe, potentially harmful, dangerous, violent, or criminal activities; and

Colorado § 22-25-102. Legislative Declaration.

(2) Since the enactment of this article, the general assembly has further determined that the insidious attractions of gangs and substance abuse are endangering the youth of Colorado and, by doing so, are endangering all Colorado citizens. Accordingly, the general assembly finds and declares that the implementation of educational programs in the public schools, including public schools, is necessary to assist young people in avoiding gang involvement and substance abuse.

Colorado § 24-33.5-415.3. Information on Gangs—Legislative Declaration

(1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:

(a) The proliferation of gangs and gang-related crimes is no longer merely a matter facing urban communities and has become a matter of statewide concern;

(b) Gang activity involves a multitude of crimes, and illegal drug use and drug-trafficking constitute common factors associated with all gang-related activities and in the continuing pattern of gang-related violence;

(c) While the primary responsibility for law enforcement rests with local police and sheriffs' departments, drugs and drug-related crimes and gang-related criminal activity resulting therefrom have placed an overwhelming burden on the existing resources of all law enforcement agencies, especially rural departments. Therefore, the state has an obligation to make additional support available to local law enforcement through increased assistance in the investigation of narcotics and dangerous drug law violations; expanded training of local officers to improve their ability to interdict the sale and use of drugs in their communities; increased ability to assist in seizing moneys and properties utilized in drug transactions; improved forensic laboratory capability for the quantification and qualitative analysis of narcotics and dangerous drugs; and enhanced capability to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on drug- and gang-related criminal activity

(d) In order to contain the spread of gang violence, the development of a computerized database tracking system is necessary to improve the consistency of data shared by the different law enforcement and judicial elements of the criminal justice system, both within the state and among various states confronted with similar gang violence.

(2) For the purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires, "gang" means a group of three or more individuals with a common interest, bond, or activity characterized by criminal or delinquent conduct.

(3) To aid in the identification and location of gangs and gang members and to prevent recruitment of new gang members from both the population in general and persons in the custody of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Human Services, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation shall develop and maintain a computerized database system which tracks the whereabouts of identified gang members. Such database shall be compiled from reports submitted to the bureau pursuant to Section 16-21-103, C.R.S. Such information shall include the following:

(a) The person's name, along with any aliases;

(b) The person's last-known address;

(c) The person's date of birth;

(d) The date of any arrest and the arrest numbers, the investigating agency's case number, the final disposition of any criminal case filed with a court, and the court number; and

(e) Any information relevant to the person's association or affiliation with a gang or with gang activities.

(4) The bureau shall make every reasonable effort to locate and cooperate with other such databases in the United States in order to track gangs and gang members involved in interstate activities.

District of Columbia (view all subjects for this state)

District of Columbia § 2-1541. Findings and Purpose

(a) The Council of the District of Columbia ("Council") has determined that there has been an increase in juvenile violence, juvenile gang activity, and crime by persons under the age of 17 years in the District of Columbia.

(b) The Council has determined that persons under the age of 17 years are particularly susceptible, because of their lack of maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and gang-related activities and to be the victims of older perpetrators of crime.

(c) The Council has an obligation to provide for the protection of minors from each other and from other persons, for the enforcement of parental control over, and responsibility for, children, for the protection of the general public, and for the reduction of the incidence of juvenile criminal activities.

(d) The Council has determined that a curfew for those under the age of 17 years will be in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare and will help to attain these objectives and to diminish the undesirable impact of this conduct on the citizens of the District of Columbia.

(e) The Council determines that passage of a curfew law will protect the welfare of minors by:

(1)Reducing the likelihood that minors will be the victims of criminal acts during the curfew hours;

(2) Reducing the likelihood that minors will become involved in criminal acts or exposed to narcotics trafficking during the curfew hours; and

(3) Aiding parents or guardians in carrying out their responsibility to exercise reasonable supervision of minors entrusted to their care.

Florida (view all subjects for this state)

Florida § 874.02. Legislative Findings and Intent

(1) The Legislature finds that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of criminal gangs and their members. It is not the intent of this chapter to interfere with the exercise of the constitutionally protected rights of freedom of expression and association. The Legislature recognizes the constitutional right of every citizen to harbor and express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to lawfully associate with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.

(2) The Legislature finds, however, that the state is facing a mounting crisis caused by criminal gangs whose members threaten and terrorize peaceful citizens and commit a multitude of crimes. These criminal gang activities, both individually and collectively, present a clear and present danger. Street gangs, terrorist organizations, and hate groups have evolved into increasingly sophisticated and complex organized crime groups in their criminal tactics, schemes, and brutality. The state has a compelling interest in preventing criminal gang activity and halting the real and present danger posed by the proliferation of criminal gangs and the graduation from more primitive forms of criminal gangs to highly sophisticated criminal gangs. For these reasons, the Legislature finds that the provisions of this chapter are essential to maintain public order and safety.

(3) It is the intent of the Legislature to outlaw certain conduct associated with the existence and proliferation of criminal gangs, provide enhanced criminal penalties, and eliminate the patterns, profits, proceeds, instrumentalities, and property facilitating criminal gang activity, including criminal gang recruitment.

(4) The Legislature finds that the timely reporting and exchange of criminal gang information facilitates the ability of law enforcement agencies to monitor and anticipate criminal activities of gangs and their members. Additionally, the timely and standardized reporting of such criminal gang information supports the identification of gang members via the criminal justice information system and directly contributes to law enforcement officers' safety. For these reasons, it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage state and local law enforcement agencies to facilitate the exchange of crime data information through the statewide criminal gang database as provided in s. 874.09.

Florida § 943.031. Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council

(1) Findings.--The Legislature finds that there is a need to develop and implement a statewide strategy to address violent criminal activity, including crimes committed by criminal gangs, and drug control efforts by state and local law enforcement agencies, including investigations of illicit money laundering. In recognition of this need, the Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council is created within the department. The council shall serve in an advisory capacity to the department.

(5) Duties of council.--Subject to funding provided to the department by the Legislature, the council shall provide advice and make recommendations, as necessary, to the executive director of the department.

(a) The council may advise the executive director on the feasibility of undertaking initiatives which include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Establishing a program that provides grants to criminal justice agencies that develop and implement effective violent crime prevention and investigative programs and which provides grants to law enforcement agencies for the purpose of drug control, criminal gang, and illicit money laundering investigative efforts or task force efforts that are determined by the council to significantly contribute to achieving the state's goal of reducing drug-related crime, that represent significant criminal gang investigative efforts, that represent a significant illicit money laundering investigative effort, or that otherwise significantly support statewide strategies developed by the Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council established under s. 397.333, subject to the limitations provided in this section. The grant program may include an innovations grant program to provide startup funding for new initiatives by local and state law enforcement agencies to combat violent crime or to implement drug control, criminal gang, or illicit money laundering investigative efforts or task force efforts by law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, initiatives such as:

a. Providing enhanced community-oriented policing.

b. Providing additional undercover officers and other investigative officers to assist with violent crime investigations in emergency situations.

c. Providing funding for multiagency or statewide drug control, criminal gang, or illicit money laundering investigative efforts or task force efforts that cannot be reasonably funded completely by alternative sources and that significantly contribute to achieving the state's goal of reducing drug-related crime, that represent significant criminal gang investigative efforts, that represent a significant illicit money laundering investigative effort, or that otherwise significantly support statewide strategies developed by the Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council established under s. 397.333.

2. Expanding the use of automated biometric identification systems at the state and local levels.

3. Identifying methods to prevent violent crime.

4. Identifying methods to enhance multiagency or statewide drug control, criminal gang, or illicit money laundering investigative efforts or task force efforts that significantly contribute to achieving the state's goal of reducing drug-related crime, that represent significant criminal gang investigative efforts, that represent a significant illicit money laundering investigative effort, or that otherwise significantly support statewide strategies developed by the Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council established under s. 397.333.

5. Enhancing criminal justice training programs that address violent crime, drug control, illicit money laundering investigative techniques, or efforts to control and eliminate criminal gangs.

6. Developing and promoting crime prevention services and educational programs that serve the public, including, but not limited to:

a. Enhanced victim and witness counseling services that also provide crisis intervention, information referral, transportation, and emergency financial assistance.

b. A well-publicized rewards program for the apprehension and conviction of criminals who perpetrate violent crimes.

7. Enhancing information sharing and assistance in the criminal justice community by expanding the use of community partnerships and community policing programs. Such expansion may include the use of civilian employees or volunteers to relieve law enforcement officers of clerical work in order to enable the officers to concentrate on street visibility within the community.

(b) The full council shall:

1. Receive periodic reports from regional violent crime investigation and statewide drug control strategy implementation coordinating teams which relate to violent crime trends or the investigative needs or successes in the regions, including discussions regarding the activity of significant criminal gangs in the region, factors, and trends relevant to the implementation of the statewide drug strategy, and the results of drug control and illicit money laundering investigative efforts funded in part by the council.

2. Maintain and use criteria for the disbursement of funds from the Violent Crime Investigative Emergency and Drug Control Strategy Implementation Account or any other account from which the council may disburse proactive investigative funds as may be established within the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund or other appropriations provided to the Department of Law Enforcement by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act. The criteria shall allow for the advancement of funds to reimburse agencies regarding violent crime investigations as approved by the full council and the advancement of funds to implement proactive drug control strategies or significant criminal gang investigative efforts as authorized by the Drug Control Strategy and Criminal Gang Committee or the Victim and Witness Protection Review Committee. Regarding violent crime investigation reimbursement, an expedited approval procedure shall be established for rapid disbursement of funds in violent crime emergency situations.

(c) As used in this section, “significant criminal gang investigative efforts” eligible for proactive funding must involve at a minimum an effort against a known criminal gang that:

1. Involves multiple law enforcement agencies.

2. Reflects a dedicated significant investigative effort on the part of each participating agency in personnel, time devoted to the investigation, and agency resources dedicated to the effort.

3. Reflects a dedicated commitment by a prosecuting authority to ensure that cases developed by the investigation will be timely and effectively prosecuted.

4. Demonstrates a strategy and commitment to dismantling the criminal gang via seizures of assets, significant money laundering and organized crime investigations and prosecutions, or similar efforts.

The council may require satisfaction of additional elements, to include reporting criminal investigative and criminal intelligence information related to criminal gang activity and members in a manner required by the department, as a prerequisite for receiving proactive criminal gang funding.

(6) Drug Control Strategy and Criminal Gang Committee.--

(a) The Drug Control Strategy and Criminal Gang Committee is created within the Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council, consisting of the following council members:

1. The Attorney General or a designate.

2. The designate of the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement.

3. The secretary of the Department of Corrections or a designate.

4. The director of the Office of Planning and Budgeting in the Executive Office of the Governor or a designate.

5. The state attorney, the two sheriffs, and the two chiefs of police, or their designates.

(b) Subject to funding provided to the department by the Legislature, the committee shall review and approve all requests for disbursement of funds from the Violent Crime Investigative Emergency and Drug Control Strategy Implementation Account within the Department of Law Enforcement Operating Trust Fund and from other appropriations provided to the department by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act. An expedited approval procedure shall be established for rapid disbursement of funds in violent crime emergency situations. Committee meetings may be conducted by conference call, teleconferencing, or similar technology.

(c) Those receiving any proactive funding provided by the council through the committee shall be required to report the results of the investigations to the council once the investigation has been completed. The committee shall also require ongoing status reports on ongoing investigations using such findings in its closed sessions and may require a recipient to return all or any portion of unexpended proactive funds to the council.

(8) Victim and Witness Protection Review Committee.--

(a) The Victim and Witness Protection Review Committee is created within the Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council, consisting of the statewide prosecutor or a state attorney, a sheriff, a chief of police, and the designee of the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement. The committee shall be appointed from the membership of the council by the chair of the council after the chair has consulted with the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement. Committee members shall meet in conjunction with the meetings of the council or at other times as required by the department and the chair. The committee meetings may be conducted by conference call, teleconferencing, or similar technology.

(b) Subject to funding provided to the department by the Legislature, the committee shall:

1. Maintain and use criteria for disbursing funds to reimburse law enforcement agencies for costs associated with providing victim and witness temporary protective or temporary relocation services.

2. Review and approve or deny, in whole or in part, all reimbursement requests submitted by law enforcement agencies.

(c) The lead law enforcement agency providing victim or witness protective or temporary relocation services pursuant to the provisions of s. 914.25 may submit a request for reimbursement to the Victim and Witness Protection Review Committee in a format approved by the committee. The lead law enforcement agency shall submit such reimbursement request on behalf of all law enforcement agencies that cooperated in providing protective or temporary relocation services related to a particular criminal investigation or prosecution. As part of the reimbursement request, the lead law enforcement agency must indicate how any reimbursement proceeds will be distributed among the agencies that provided protective or temporary relocation services.

(d) The committee, in its discretion, may use funds available to the committee to provide all or partial reimbursement to the lead law enforcement agency for such costs, or may decline to provide any reimbursement.

Georgia (view all subjects for this state)

Georgia § 16-15-2. Legislative Intent

(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that it is the right of every person to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. It is not the intent of this chapter to interfere with the exercise of the constitutionally protected rights of freedom of expression and association. The General Assembly recognizes the constitutional right of every citizen to harbor and express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to associate lawfully with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.

(b) The General Assembly, however, further finds that the State of Georgia is in a state of crisis which has been caused by violent criminal street gangs whose members threaten, terrorize, and commit a multitude of crimes against the peaceful citizens of their neighborhoods. These activities, both individually and collectively, present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and are not constitutionally protected.

(c) The General Assembly finds that there are criminal street gangs operating in Georgia and that the number of gang related murders is increasing. It is the intent of the General Assembly in enacting this chapter to seek the eradication of criminal activity by criminal street gangs by focusing upon criminal gang activity and upon the organized nature of criminal street gangs which together are the chief source of terror created by criminal street gangs.

(d) The General Assembly further finds that an effective means of punishing and deterring the criminal activities of criminal street gangs is through forfeiture of the profits, proceeds, and instrumentalities acquired, accumulated, or used by criminal street gangs.

Georgia § 17-15A-3. Declaration of Purpose

The General Assembly finds and declares that:

(1) Criminal street gang activity is a serious and continuing public safety concern;

(2) Criminal trespass and criminal damage to property in the second degree caused by graffiti being placed unlawfully upon private property are crimes frequently associated with criminal street gang activity; and

(3) It is in the public interest, not only in the pursuit of justice but also as a means of combating such criminal street gang activity and of contributing to the general public welfare by improving the esthetics of public views, to compensate as provided in this chapter those private property owners who are the innocent victims of such criminal trespass or criminal damage to property in the second degree by using inmate labor to remove or obliterate graffiti unlawfully placed on private properties when such graffiti is visible from public roads or other public property.

Illinois (view all subjects for this state)

Illinois § 705 ILCS 405/5-201. Legislative Declaration

The General Assembly recognizes that, despite the large investment of resources committed to address the needs of the juvenile justice system of this State, cost of juvenile crime continues to drain the State's existing financial capacity, and exacts traumatic and tragic physical, psychological and economic damage to victims. The General Assembly further recognizes that many adults in the criminal justice system were once delinquents in the juvenile justice system. The General Assembly also recognizes that the most effective juvenile delinquency programs are programs that not only prevent children from entering the juvenile justice system, but also meet local community needs and have substantial community involvement and support. Therefore, it is the belief of the General Assembly that one of the best investments of the scarce resources available to combat crime is in the prevention of delinquency, including prevention of criminal activity by youth gangs. It is the intent of the General Assembly to authorize and encourage each of the counties of the State to establish a comprehensive juvenile justice plan based upon the input of representatives of every affected public or private entity, organization, or group. It is the further intent of the General Assembly that representatives of school systems, the judiciary, law enforcement, and the community acquire a thorough understanding of the role and responsibility that each has in addressing juvenile crime in the community, that the county juvenile justice plan reflect an understanding of the legal and fiscal limits within which the plan must be implemented, and that willingness of the parties to cooperate and collaborate in implementing the plan be explicitly stated. It is the further intent of the General Assembly that county juvenile justice plans form the basis of regional and State juvenile justice plans and that the prevention and treatment resources at the county, regional, and State levels be utilized to the maximum extent possible to implement and further the goals of their respective plans.

Illinois § 720 ILCS 5/33G–2. Legislative Declaration.

The substantial harm inflicted on the people and economy of this State by pervasive violent street gangs and other forms of enterprise criminality, is legitimately a matter of grave concern to the people of this State who have a basic right to be protected from that criminal activity and to be given adequate remedies to redress its harms. Whereas the current laws of this State provide inadequate remedies, procedures and punishments, the Illinois General Assembly hereby gives the supplemental remedies of the Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law full force and effect under law for the common good of this State and its people.

Illinois § 725 ILCS 172/5-35. Continuation of Act; Validation. (Repealed July 1, 2012)

(For postponed repeal of this Act, see 725 ILCS 172/5-30)

(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that:

(1) When the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act was originally enacted by Public Act 89-498, effective June 27, 1996, it included a Section 5-30, which repealed the Act on June 30, 1998.

(2) Senate Bill 1846 of the 90th General Assembly included a provision that amended the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act by changing Section 5-30 to make the Act’s repeal date June 30, 1999. Senate Bill 1846 passed both houses on May 21, 1998. Senate Bill 1846 provided that it took effect upon becoming law. Senate Bill 1846 was sent to the Governor on June 19, 1998. Senate Bill 1846 was not approved by the Governor until August 14, 1998. Senate Bill 1846 became Public Act 90-795.

(3) The Statute on Statutes sets forth general rules on the repeal of statutes, but Section 1 of that Act also states that these rules will not be observed when the result would be "inconsistent with the manifest intent of the General Assembly or repugnant to the context of the statute".

(4) The actions of the General Assembly clearly manifest the intention of the General Assembly to change the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act’s repeal date to June 30, 1999.

(5) Any construction of Section 5-30 of the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act that results in the repeal of the Act on June 30, 1998 would be inconsistent with the manifest intent of the General Assembly.

(b) It is hereby declared to have been the intent of the General Assembly, in enacting Public Act 90-795, that Section 5-30 of the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act be changed to make June 30, 1999 the repeal
date of the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act, and that the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act therefore not be subject to repeal on June 30, 1998.

(c) The Gang Crime Witness Protection Act shall be deemed to have been in continuous effect since its original effective date, and it shall continue to be in effect until it is otherwise repealed.

(d) All actions taken in reliance on or pursuant to the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act by any officer or agency of State government or any other person or entity are validated.

(e) To ensure the continuing effectiveness of the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act, it is set forth in full and re-enacted by this amendatory Act. This re-enactment is intended as a continuation of the Act. It is not intended to supersede any amendment to the Act that is enacted by the General Assembly.

(f) This Act applies to all claims, civil actions, and proceedings pending on or filed on, before, or after the effective date of this amendatory Act.

(g) The General Assembly also intends in this amendatory Act to change the repeal date of the Gang Crime Witness Protection Act to July 1, 2004.

Illinois § 740 ILCS 20/2. Findings and Intent

(a) The General Assembly finds that the abuse of cannabis and controlled substances:

(7) encourages and fosters the growth of urban gangs engaged in violent and nonviolent crime;

Illinois § 740 ILCS 147/5. Legislative Findings

(a) The General Assembly hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. It is not the intent of this Act to interfere with the exercise of the constitutionally protected rights of freedom of expression and association. The General Assembly hereby recognizes the constitutional right of every citizen to harbor and express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to lawfully associate with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.

(b) The General Assembly finds, however, that urban, suburban, and rural communities, neighborhoods and schools throughout the State are being terrorized and plundered by street gangs. The General Assembly finds that there are now several hundred street gangs operating in Illinois, and that while their terrorism is most widespread in urban areas, street gangs are spreading into suburban and rural areas of Illinois.

(c) The General Assembly further finds that street gangs are often controlled by criminally sophisticated adults who take advantage of our youth by intimidating and coercing them into membership by employing them as drug couriers and runners, and by using them to commit brutal crimes against persons and property to further the financial benefit to and dominance of the street gang.

(d) These street gangs’ activities present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and are not constitutionally protected. No society is or should be required to endure such activities without redress. Accordingly, it is the intent of the General Assembly in enacting this Act to create a civil remedy against street gangs and their members that upon patterns of criminal gang activity and upon the organized nature of street gangs, which together have been the chief source of their success

Louisiana (view all subjects for this state)

Louisiana § 15:1402. Legislative Findings and Declaration

A. The legislature hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age or handicap, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. It is not the intent of this Chapter to interfere with the constitutional exercise of the protected rights of freedom of expression and association. The legislature hereby recognizes the right of every citizen to harbor and constitutionally express beliefs on any lawful subject whatsoever, to associate lawfully with others who share similar beliefs, to petition lawfully constituted authority for a redress of perceived grievances, and to participate in the electoral process.

B. The legislature further finds that the state of Louisiana is in a state of crisis, which has been caused by violent street gangs whose members threaten, terrorize, and commit a multitude of crimes against the peaceful citizens of their neighborhoods. These activities, both individually and collectively present a clear and present danger to public order and safety and are not constitutionally protected. The legislature finds that there are many criminal street gangs and gang members operating in Louisiana, and that the number of gang-related crimes is increasing. It is the intent of the legislature in enacting this Chapter to seek the eradication of criminal activity by street gangs by focusing upon patterns of criminal gang activity and upon the organized nature of street gangs, which together are the chief source of terror created by street gangs. The legislature also finds that an effective means of punishing and deterring the criminal activities of street gangs is through the elimination of the availability to criminal street gangs of premises, often referred to as crack houses, which are used almost exclusively for the commission of a pattern of criminal gang activity to the detriment of the law-abiding citizens of our state.

Louisiana § 15:1422. Legislative Findings and Declaration

The legislature recognizes that, despite the large investment of resources committed to address the needs of the criminal justice system of this state, the crime rate continues to increase, overcrowding the state's juvenile detention centers, jails, and prisons and placing the state in jeopardy of being unable to effectively manage these facilities. The economic cost of crime to the state continues to drain existing resources, and the cost to victims, both economic and psychological, is traumatic and tragic. The legislature further recognizes that many adults in the criminal justice system were once delinquents in the juvenile justice system. The legislature also recognizes that the most effective juvenile delinquency programs are programs that not only prevent children from entering the juvenile justice system, but also meet local community needs and have substantial community involvement and support. Therefore, it is the belief of the legislature that one of the best investments of the scarce resources available to combat crime is in the prevention of delinquency with special emphasis on youth and street gang prevention. Juvenile involvement in gang activity is becoming more prevalent in certain areas of this state and continues to break down family and community support systems. The legislature recognizes that youth and street gangs may best be viewed as a symptom of underlying social and economic problems that reach far beyond the usual alienation found in youth subcultures in urban areas. The existence of an urban underclass, with its attendant socially disorganized and fragmented living conditions, gives rise to many social pathologies, of which the gang problem is just one. Youth and street gangs are symptomatic of many of the same social and economic problems as adult crime: substance abuse, alcoholism, mental illness, homelessness, unemployment, and multigeneration "welfare families" living in hopelessness and despair. The lure of juveniles into gangs stems from many factors, including extensive geographic mobility, rapid urbanization and population growth, substantial pockets of poverty, unemployment, increasing rates of dropouts and expulsions, a rich racial and ethnic mix, and a transient population of youth. Consequently, it is the intent of the legislature to authorize in each of the eight law enforcement planning districts the development of a comprehensive delinquency prevention plan, to be included in the state juvenile justice and delinquency prevention plan, including gang prevention where appropriate. It is further the intent of the legislature that cooperative agreements be developed among parishes within and between those districts and public and private agencies to implement such plans through effective local programs aimed at reducing juvenile crime and gangs and increasing the number of juveniles engaged in positive alternatives to crime.

New Jersey (view all subjects for this state)

New Jersey § 18A:11-7. Legislative Findings and Declaration

The Legislature finds and declares that many educators believe that school dress can significantly influence pupil behavior and that schools that have adopted dress codes, including dress codes which require school uniforms and which prohibit clothing indicating membership in certain gangs, experience greater school pride and improved behavior in and out of the classroom. The Legislature further finds that to assist in controlling the environment in public schools, to facilitate and maintain an effective learning environment, and to keep the focus of the classroom on learning, school districts should be specifically authorized to implement uniform clothing requirements for their students.

North Carolina (view all subjects for this state)

North Carolina § 143B-845. Legislative Intent.

It is the intent of the General Assembly to prevent juveniles who are at risk from becoming delinquent. The primary intent of this Part is to develop community-based alternatives to youth development centers and to provide community-based delinquency, substance abuse, and prevention strategies and programs. Additionally, it is the intent of the General Assembly to provide noninstitutional dispositional alternatives that will protect the community and the juveniles.

These programs and services shall be planned and organized at the community level and developed in partnership with the State. These planning efforts shall include appropriate representation from local government, local public and private agencies serving juveniles and their families, local business leaders, citizens with an interest in youth problems, youth representatives, and others as may be appropriate in a particular community. The planning bodies at the local level shall be the Juvenile Crime Prevention Councils.

Oklahoma (view all subjects for this state)

10A Oklahoma § 2-7-701. Short Title—Purpose—Intent

A. Sections 2-7-701 through 2-7-705 of this title shall be known and may be cited as the "Delinquency and Youth Gang Intervention and Prevention Act".

B. The Legislature recognizes that the economic cost of crime to the state and communities continues to drain existing resources, and the cost to victims, both economic and psychological, is traumatic and tragic. The Legislature further recognizes that many adults in the criminal justice system were once delinquents in the juvenile justice system. The Legislature also recognizes that the most effective juvenile delinquency programs are programs that prevent children from entering the juvenile justice system, meet local community needs, and have substantial community involvement and support. Therefore, it is the belief of the Legislature that one of the best investments of scarce resources available to combat crime is to counteract the negative social and economic factors that contribute to criminal and delinquent behavior by engaging youth who are determined to have the highest risk of involvement with gangs or delinquent behaviors or live in at-risk neighborhoods and communities in positive programs and opportunities at the local, neighborhood and community level.

C. For the purpose of reducing the likelihood of later or continued involvement in criminal or delinquent activities, the intent of the Legislature in enacting the Delinquency and Youth Gang Intervention and Prevention Act is to provide programs for adjudicated delinquents and highest risk children and their families who live in at-risk neighborhoods and communities, as defined in Section 2-7-702 of this title, and to aid all communities in developing delinquency and gang intervention and prevention programs and activities.

Rhode Island (view all subjects for this state)

Rhode Island § 42-26-19. After-School Alternative Program—Legislative Intent

The legislature hereby finds and declares the following:

(1) There is greater threat to public safety resulting from gang- and drug-related activity in and near Rhode Island's inner cities.

(2) Young people, especially at-risk youth, are more vulnerable to gang and drug-related activity during the potentially unsupervised hours between the end of school and the time their parents or guardians return home from work.

(3) Without local prevention and treatment efforts, hard drugs will continue to threaten and destroy families and communities in and near the inner cities. Drug-related violence may then escalate dramatically in every community and thereby burden the criminal justice system to the point that it cannot function effectively.

(4) It is the intent of the Legislature that a pilot program, the "After School Alternative Program" (ASAP), be established and implemented within a specified Rhode Island community. This community program would utilize the public schools, businesses, and community facilities to provide supportive programs and activities to young people during the time between the end of school and the return home of their parents or guardians (from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.).

South Carolina (view all subjects for this state)

South Carolina § 14-7-1610. Legislative Findings and Intent; Applicability.

(B) The General Assembly finds that there is a critical need to enhance the grand jury system to improve the ability of the state to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes involving criminal gang activity or a pattern of criminal gang activity pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 8, Title 16. Crimes involving criminal gang activity or a pattern of criminal gang activity transpire at times in a single county, but often transpire or have significance in more than one county of this state. The General Assembly believes criminal gang activity poses an immediate, serious, and unacceptable threat to the citizens of the state and therefore warrants the state grand jury possessing considerably broader investigative authority.

(G) The General Assembly finds that related criminal activity often arises out of or in connection with crimes involving narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, criminal gang activity, obscenity, public corruption, or environmental offenses and that the mechanism for detecting and investigating these related crimes must be improved.

(H) Accordingly, the General Assembly concludes that a state grand jury should be allowed to investigate certain crimes related to narcotics, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances, criminal gang activity, and obscenity and also should be allowed to investigate crimes involving public corruption, election laws, and environmental offenses.

Washington (view all subjects for this state)

Washington § 43.310.005. Finding

The legislature finds and declares that:

(1) The number of youth who are members and associates of gangs and commit gang violence has significantly increased throughout the entire greater Puget Sound, Spokane, and other areas of the state;

(2) Youth gang violence has caused a tremendous strain on the progress of the communities impacted. The loss of life, property, and positive opportunity for growth caused by youth gang violence has reached intolerable levels. Increased youth gang activity has seriously strained the budgets of many local jurisdictions, as well as threatened the ability of the educational system to educate our youth;

(3) Among youth gang members, the high school drop-out rate is significantly higher than among nongang members. Since the economic future of our state depends on a highly educated and skilled work force, this high school drop-out rate threatens the economic welfare of our future work force, as well as the future economic growth of our state;

(4) The unemployment rate among youth gang members is higher than that among the general youth population. The unusual unemployment rate, lack of education and skills, and increased criminal activity could significantly impact our future prison population;

(5) Most youth gangs are subcultural. This implies that gangs provide the nurturing, discipline, and guidance to gang youth and potential gang youth that is generally provided by communities and other social systems. The subcultural designation means that youth gang participation and violence can be effectively reduced in Washington communities and schools through the involvement of community, educational, criminal justice, and employment systems working in a unified manner with parents and individuals who have a firsthand knowledge of youth gangs and at-risk youth; and

(6) A strong unified effort among parents and community, educational, criminal justice, and employment systems would facilitate:

(a) The learning process;

(b) the control and reduction of gang violence;

(c) the prevention of youth joining negative gangs; and

(d) the intervention into youth gangs. [1993c 497 § 1.]

Washington § 43.310.007. Intent—Prevention and Intervention Pilot Programs

It is the intent of the legislature to cause the development of positive prevention and intervention pilot programs for elementary- and secondary-aged youth through cooperation between individual schools, local organizations, and government. It is also the intent of the legislature that, if the prevention and intervention pilot programs are determined to be effective in reducing problems associated with youth gang violence, other counties in the state be eligible to receive special state funding to establish similar positive prevention and intervention programs.

Washington § 59.18.500. Gang-Related Activity—Legislative Findings, Declarations, and Intent

The legislature finds and declares that the ability to feel safe and secure in one's own home and in one's own community is of primary importance. The legislature recognizes that certain gang-related activity can affect the safety of a considerable number of people in the rental premises and dwelling units. Therefore, such activity, although it may be occurring within an individual's home or the surrounding areas of an individual's home, becomes the community's concern.

The legislature intends that the remedy provided in RCW 59.18.510 be used solely to protect the health and safety of the community. The remedy is not a means for private citizens to bring malicious or unfounded actions against fellow tenants or residential neighbors for personal reasons. In determining whether the tenant's activity is the type prohibited under RCW 59.18.130(9), the court should consider the totality of the circumstances, including factors such as whether there have been numerous complaints to the landlord, damage to property, police or incident reports, reports of disturbance, and arrests. An absence of any or all of these factors does not necessarily mean gang activity is not occurring. In determining whether the tenant is engaging in gang-related activity, the court should consider the purpose and intent of RCW 59.18.510. The legislature intends to give people in the community a tool that will help them restore the health and vibrance of their community.


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