Gang-Related Legislation by State Index

Pennsylvania

Enhanced Penalties—Sentencing (view all states for this subject)

42 Pennsylvania § 9720.4. Sentencing for Offenses Committed in Association With a Criminal Gang

(a) Sentencing enhancement.—In addition to any minimum term of imprisonment authorized or established by law for the offense, the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, in accordance with section 2154 (relating to adoption of guidelines for sentencing), shall provide for a sentence enhancement within its guidelines for a crime of violence, as defined in section 9714(g)(relating to sentences for second and subsequent offenses) or a violation of section 13(a)(30) of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, if the offense was knowingly committed at the direction of or for the purpose of benefiting, promoting or furthering the interests of a criminal gang.

(b) Definition.—As used in this section, the term “criminal gang” has the meaning given in 18 Pa.C.S. § 5131(e)(relating to recruiting criminal gang members).

Gang Prevention (view all states for this subject)

71 Pennsylvania § 1190.21. Definitions

The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:

“Commission.” The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

“Fund.” The Justice Reinvestment Fund established under section 8.1(a).

“Innovative policing.” The term shall include all of the following:

(1) Activities to obtain accreditation of municipal police departments.

(2) Online training of law enforcement officers.

(3) County and regional law enforcement data-sharing initiatives.

(4) Strategies to combat crime and gang activity, including intervention, enforcement, technology, analytical capacity and community policing.

“Mid-minimum offender.” An offender who at the time of sentencing has at least one but not more than two years remaining to be served to reach the offender's minimum sentence, including any applicable recidivism risk reduction incentive minimum sentence imposed.

“Offender diversion.” Evidence-based strategies to reduce the number of short-minimum and mid-minimum offenders committed to the Department of Corrections.

“Private citizen.” An individual who is not an elected or appointed official in a branch of government of the United States, the Commonwealth or a political subdivision.

“Short-minimum offender.” An offender who at the time of sentencing has less than one year remaining to be served to reach the offender's minimum sentence, including any applicable recidivism risk reduction incentive minimum sentence imposed.

“Targeted community.” A city, township or municipality currently receiving funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to provide support to law enforcement and community partnerships to develop comprehensive, targeted crime prevention efforts and a planning process for the revitalization of high-crime and distressed communities; a city, township or municipality designated by the commission to receive such funding; or a city, township or municipality eligible to seek such funding from the commission under criteria developed by the Targeted Community Revitalization and Crime Prevention Advisory Committee.

Gang Recruitment, Threats, Intimidation (view all states for this subject)

18 Pennsylvania § 5131. Recruiting Criminal Gang Member.

(a) Offense defined.—A person commits the offense of recruiting criminal gang members by:

(1) knowingly soliciting or otherwise causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal gang;

(2) knowingly inflicting bodily injury as defined in section 2301 (relating to definitions) or using physical menace, force, threats or other intimidation causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal gang; or

(3) knowingly inflicting serious bodily injury as defined in section 2301 on any person causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal gang.

(b) Grading.—

(1) Except as provided under paragraph (2), the following shall apply:

(i) An offense under subsection (a)(1) is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(ii) An offense under subsection (a)(2) is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(iii) An offense under subsection (a)(3) is a felony of the third degree.

(2) A violation of this section shall be graded one degree higher than provided under paragraph (1) if the subject of the recruiting is under 16 years of age.

(c) Defenses.—It shall not be a defense to this offense that the subject of the recruiting did not join, participate or remain in a criminal gang.

(d) Liability for other violations of statutes.—This section shall not be construed to limit prosecution under any other provision of law.

(e) Definition.—As used in this section, the term “criminal gang” means a formal or informal ongoing organization, association or group, with or without an established hierarchy, that has as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal or delinquent acts and that consists of three or more persons.

Gang-Related Definitions (view all states for this subject)

18 Pennsylvania § 3304. Criminal Mischief

(a) OFFENSE DEFINED.-- A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:

(4) intentionally defaces or otherwise damages tangible public property or tangible property of another with graffiti by use of any aerosol spray-paint can, broad-tipped indelible marker, or similar marking device;

(6) intentionally defaces personal, private, or public property by discharging a paintball gun or paintball marker at that property.

(b) GRADING.-- Criminal mischief is a felony of the third degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 5,000, or a substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service. It is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 1,000, or a misdemeanor of the third degree if he intentionally or recklessly causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 500 or causes a loss in excess of $ 150 for a violation of subsection (a)(4). Otherwise criminal mischief is a summary offense.

(c) DEFINITION.-- As used in this section, the term "graffiti" means an unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, or design which is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted.

18 Pennsylvania § 5131. Recruiting Criminal Gang Member.

(a) Offense defined.—A person commits the offense of recruiting criminal gang members by:

(1) knowingly soliciting or otherwise causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal gang;

(2) knowingly inflicting bodily injury as defined in section 2301 (relating to definitions) or using physical menace, force, threats or other intimidation causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal gang; or

(3) knowingly inflicting serious bodily injury as defined in section 2301 on any person causing or attempting to cause a person to participate or remain in a criminal gang.

(b) Grading.—

(1) Except as provided under paragraph (2), the following shall apply:

(i) An offense under subsection (a)(1) is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(ii) An offense under subsection (a)(2) is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(iii) An offense under subsection (a)(3) is a felony of the third degree.

(2) A violation of this section shall be graded one degree higher than provided under paragraph (1) if the subject of the recruiting is under 16 years of age.

(c) Defenses.—It shall not be a defense to this offense that the subject of the recruiting did not join, participate or remain in a criminal gang.

(d) Liability for other violations of statutes.—This section shall not be construed to limit prosecution under any other provision of law.

(e) Definition.—As used in this section, the term “criminal gang” means a formal or informal ongoing organization, association or group, with or without an established hierarchy, that has as one of its primary activities the commission of criminal or delinquent acts and that consists of three or more persons.

Gang-Related Funding (view all states for this subject)

72 Pennsylvania § 1712-F. Executive Offices

(1) Money appropriated to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for intermediate punishment treatment programs shall be allocated in the same proportion as funding provided in fiscal year 2011–2012 for intermediate punishment programs and for intermediate punishment drug and alcohol treatment.

(2) From money appropriated to the commission, at least $85,000 shall be used to support the Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification System (SAVIN) to provide offender information through county jails.

(3) From money appropriated to the commission, at least $50,000 shall be used for gang violence prevention initiatives in counties of the third class.

(4) From money appropriated for violence prevention programs, at least $250,000 shall be used for programs in a city of the first class.

Graffiti (view all states for this subject)

18 Pennsylvania § 3304. Criminal Mischief

(a) OFFENSE DEFINED.-- A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:

(4) intentionally defaces or otherwise damages tangible public property or tangible property of another with graffiti by use of any aerosol spray-paint can, broad-tipped indelible marker, or similar marking device;

(6) intentionally defaces personal, private, or public property by discharging a paintball gun or paintball marker at that property.

(b) GRADING.-- Criminal mischief is a felony of the third degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 5,000, or a substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service. It is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 1,000, or a misdemeanor of the third degree if he intentionally or recklessly causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 500 or causes a loss in excess of $ 150 for a violation of subsection (a)(4). Otherwise criminal mischief is a summary offense.

(c) DEFINITION.-- As used in this section, the term "graffiti" means an unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, or design which is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted.


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