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Current and Past Research on Civil Gang Injunctions. Karen Hennigan University of Southern California hennigan@usc.edu. What is a Civil Gang Injunction? (CGI). A gang can be sued in civil court when members have persistently engaged in a pattern of criminal and nuisance activities.

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current and past research on civil gang injunctions

Current and Past Research on Civil Gang Injunctions

Karen Hennigan

University of Southern California

hennigan@usc.edu

what is a civil gang injunction cgi
What is a Civil Gang Injunction? (CGI)
  • A gang can be sued in civil court when members have persistently engaged in a pattern of criminal and nuisance activities.
  • The lawsuit results in orders which prohibit gang members from engaging in specified activities that contribute to harm.
  • This typically includes associating with other gang members in public, trespassing on private property, possessing or being in the presence of weapons, and marking with graffiti in the safety zone.
  • After receiving notice, members who violate one of the provisions can be arrested and charged with violating a court order.
how widespread is this practice
How widespread is this practice?
  • Very prevalent in Southern California
    • Over 30 gang injunctions in LA, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego and Ventura counties between 1993 and 2000 (Maxson et al, 2002). More recently Orange County.
    • In last five years, LA City Attorney has implemented 25 new civil gang injunctions. Right now over 49 gangs in LA are under injunction orders (LA City Attorney’s Anti-Gang Plan, Jan 2007).
  • Spreading in other parts of US
    • Long history in northern California (Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco, more)
    • Arizona, Texas, other states (e.g., North Carolina)
what do we know about the impact of cgi s
What do we know about the impact of CGI’s
  • Talk about three local studies
    • Jeffrey Grogger (2002)

Funded by Haynes Foundation

    • Maxson, Hennigan & Sloane (2005)

Funded by National Institute of Justice

    • Hennigan & Sloane (on going)

Funded by National Science Foundation

impact of cgis on crime
Impact of CGIs: On Crime?
  • Grogger’s (2002) study examined Part 1 Violent Offenses in and around areas with a CGI in Los Angeles County
    • Included in 14 injunction safety zones (1993-1998)
    • Defined three comparison areas:

a) safety zone

b) adjacent RDs

c) neighboring RDs

    • Compared counts of violent offenses over five quarters before and five quarters after a CGI.
impact of cgis on crime6
Impact of CGIs: On Crime?
  • Grogger’s Findings
    • Number of violent crimes reported in safety zones was reduced by 1.5 to 3 offenses per quarter over the first year after the CGI (7% decrease)
    • No increase in violent crimes in adjacent or neighboring RDs.
    • These findings hold after controlling for possible regression to the mean and excluding the Rampart Division injunctions (due to irregularities there).
impact of cgis on crime7
Impact of CGIs: On Crime?
  • Unanswered Questions
    • Would results be replicated using data on gang crime? In other jurisdictions?
    • Displacement away from original gang areas was not tested.
    • Don’t know if the effects of the CGI persist beyond the 1st year?
    • Did the CGIs bring “relief” to the communities?
impact of cgis on community
Impact of CGIs: On Community?
  • Maxson, Hennigan, Sloane (2005) Examined change in community reactions to crime in and around a new CGI area in San Bernardino
    • Two door-to-door surveys – two years apart in five neighborhoods

- Primary: Safety zone for CGI implemented between two waves of the survey

- Control1: Similar to primary, no CGI

- Second: Area unexpectedly included in safety zone

- Control2: Similar to second, no CGI

- Prior: Safety zone of CGI implemented 5 yrs prior

- Key measures included visibility of gang members, gang intimidation, fear of crime, victimization, neighborhood efficacy, collective efficacy

impact of cgis on community9
Impact of CGIs: On Community?
  • Maxson, et al. Study Findings
    • Residents in the Primary CGI Area reported relatively less gang visibility, intimidation, fear of confrontation with gang members and less fear of crime in general than residents in control area.
    • Differences were modest and not apparent on victimization or any long term community-level outcomes.
    • Residents of the Second CGI Area reported higher gang visibility, more victimization, less faith in community’s ability to solve problems relative to its control area.
impact of cgis on community10
Impact of CGIs: On Community?
  • Unanswered Questions
    • Were any apparent gains in primary CGI area offset by losses in smaller CGI area?
    • Do any positive impacts on communities persist?
    • Does a CGI strengthen the community in the long run?
    • Does a CGI weaken the gangs involved in any way?
impact of cgis on gangs
Impact of CGIs: On Gangs?
  • Hennigan & Sloane (ongoing) are interviewing male youth ages 14 to 21 in areas claimed by gangs that do or do not have a recent gang injunction.
    • Goal is to interview youth who are and are not gang-affiliated in three areas in East LA:

Neigh 1 – Gang injunction plus gang intervention

Neigh 2 – Gang intervention (no CGI)

Neigh 3 – Gang injunction ( weak gang intervention)

    • Respondents are recruited:

Going door-to-door

Engaging youth hanging out in the target areas

Offering a $20 incentive to participate

impact of cgis on gangs12
Impact of CGIs: On Gangs?
  • Interviews are focused on social identity, perceptual deterrence, level of involvement with gang activities
  • Emerging Findings on Social Identities
    • Goal was to identify two social identities for all respondents including one clearly or ambiguously antisocial and one conventional or prosocial (Achieved for 97%)
    • Respondent’s antisocial identities could be categorized as gang-affiliated, other antisocial affiliation (tagger, skater, party posse or crew) or ambiguous (friends who hang out)
impact of cgis on gangs13
Impact of CGIs: On Gangs?
  • Emerging Findings (based on 100 of 200 interviews)
    • Compare characteristics of social identities

– Within individuals:

Gang identity is weaker than conventional identity.

      • Between individuals:

Gang-affiliates report weaker group identity and less trust of ingroup than affiliates of other antisocial groups.

      • Across Neighborhoods: ????
summary what do we know about the impact of cgis
Summary: What do we know about the impact of CGIs
  • On crime
    • In LA County violent crime decreased by 7% during the first year after obtaining gang injunctions.
  • On communities
    • In San Bernardino residents’ fear of gang intimidation and crime in general decreased during the first six months of a CGI. However, victimization increased and community efficacy decreased in a small portion of safety zone.
  • On gangs (working to answer)
    • How do characteristics of gang identities vary in places with and without a CGI during the first year?
    • What are the implications for weakening or strengthening gang affiliation in CGI areas?
what do we need to do next
What do we need to do next?
  • We are just beginning to understand the impact of GCIs on these three dimensions.
    • The findings above need to be replicated and extended.
    • Long–term impacts and possible “side-effects” of injunctions need to be explored.
    • Based on what we know so far:

In the end, injunctions may be most useful in terms of the role they may play in more comprehensive approaches to reducing gang crime, intimidation of community residents and the hold gangs have on our youth.