Gang injunctions (civil law suits against gangs) are a proactive attempt to reduce gang crime. Over the past 25 years in California, gang injunctions have increased although their efficacy remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine whether gang injunctions reduce crime when compared to baseline and matched control areas. Twenty-five gang injunctions from 4 California counties were evaluated by extracting crime data from court records and police agencies. The control areas (communities with a similar gang problem but no gang injunctions) were matched for similar gang ethnicity, gang size, proximity, and gang activity. Criminological deterrence, association, environmental and economic theories served as the theoretical foundation for the study. Calls for service were evaluated for one year pre-injunction and one year post-injunction using paired t-tests, which revealed that gang injunctions reduce crime. Calls for service were significantly reduced compared to baseline and compared to matched controls. Part 1 (violent crime) calls decreased 11.6% compared to baseline, while controls averaged an increase of 0.8%, a net benefit of 12.4%. Part 2 (less serious) calls decreased 15.9% compared to baseline, while controls averaged an increase of 1.6%, a net benefit of 17.5%. Total calls for service decreased 14.1% compared to baseline, while controls averaged an increase of 2.3%, a net benefit of 16.4%. This research promotes positive social change by identifying gang injunctions as an effective means to reduce crime, an important goal for public policy makers.
|Subjects||Public administration; Criminology|
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