Hardcore Gang Investigations Unit, a prosecutorial gang suppression program, was created by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in 1979 and is still operating today. It targets habitual gang offenders countywide and prosecutes them either in juvenile or criminal courts. Its predecessor unit, Operation Hardcore, was the first prosecution program to target serious and violent juvenile gang-related offenses. The Hardcore Gang Investigations Unit’s distinctive features include vertical prosecution (the prosecutor who files the case remains with it throughout the prosecution process), reduced caseloads, additional investigative support, and resources for assisting victims.
An independent evaluation of Operation Hardcore showed that fewer dismissals, more convictions/adjudications (including more convictions/adjudications on the most serious charge), and a higher rate of state prison commitments/secure confinement dispositions were achieved for cases subject to the program than for cases undergoing the normal prosecutorial process. Selective targeting of the most violent offenders and vertical prosecution appeared to be key factors accounting for these outcomes.
National Gang Center and OJJDP Model Programs Guide: Effective program
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
210 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 974-3680
Fax: (213) 974-1484
Dahmann, J. (1995). “Operation Hardcore, A Prosecutorial Response to Violent Gang Criminality.” In M. A. Klein, C. L. Maxson, and J. Miller (eds.), The Modern Gang Reader. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury Publishing Company, pp. 301–303.