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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

CrimProf Lurigio Says the Idea of Gang Legislation Making Gangs Stronger is not New

LurigioFrom washingtonpost.com: Loyola Univeristy CrimProf Arthur Lurigio does not buy into the novelty behind a report release Wednesday stating that anti-gang legislation and police crackdowns are failing so badly that they are strengthening the criminal organizations and making U.S.

the ideas raised in it are not new, said CrimProf Arthur Lurigio."These approaches, although they sound novel, are just old wine in new bottles," he said. "Gang crime and violence in poor urban neighborhoods have been a problem since the latter parts of the 19th century."

Mass arrests, stiff prison sentences often served with other gang members and other strategies that focus on law enforcement rather than intervention actually strengthen gang ties and further marginalize angry young men, according to the Justice Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank that advocates alternatives to incarceration.

"We're talking about 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds whose involvement in gangs is likely to be ephemeral unless they are pulled off the street and put in prison, where they will come out with much stronger gang allegiances," said Judith Greene, co-author of "Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies."

The report is based on interviews and analysis of hundreds of pages of previously published statistics and reports. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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