Gang Injunctions: A powerful tool for controlling gangs in your community




Gilmore, Guy

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Criminal street gangs have been a challenge to law enforcement for decades. They frequently engage in violent crimes such as aggravated assaults or drive-by shootings which can endanger innocent citizens as well as the intended target. The retaliatory nature of these activities between rival gangs leads to perpetual violence in communities. Gang activities degrade the safety and quality of life in communities in which they operate. Police administrators, community leaders, and the judicial system are looked upon to come up with a solution to this problem. One method that can be used to combat the pervasiveness of gangs is a gang injunction. This is a civil court order that prohibits known gang members from engaging in certain activities in the neighborhoods in which the gang normally operates. Gang injunctions are useful because they make specific gang-related conduct that is usually not illegal or an arrestable offense. Gang members can be immediately arrested for violating the terms of the injunction if an officer witnesses the violation. Gang injunctions have proven to be a useful tool that the criminal justice system can use in suppressing gang activity and crime. Statistics from one Texas city, Wichita Falls, show a clear decline in gang related incidents after a gang injunction was introduced in that community (Wichita Falls Police Department, 2020). Cities, law enforcement agencies, and their district attorneys should work collaboratively to establish gang injunctions. If they do, the result is much safer communities.



Gangs, Injunctions