Gray Panthers of San Francisco
Say No to Gang Injunctions

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has requested anti-gang injunctions against 94 men over the last two years. Among other things, the men are barred from associating with each other in certain areas of the city designated “safety zones.” Public Defender Jeff Adachi is opposed to these injunctions. He quotes a recent report by a Washington think-tank, the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) that found injunctions don't work to reduce violence. The JPI report further states that although youth crime in the US is at its lowest level in three decades, public concern and media coverage has skyrocketed since 2000. As attorney Damone Hale has said, “You're going to have young men who are going to have to prove that they have a legitimate reason to be in a particular area in San Francisco. What we're going to have is comparable to South Africa's pass laws.”

Community objections to the gang injunctions include:  
  * There is no community input.
  * Police designation of youth as gang members is arbitrary and  on-the-spot.
  * Getting off the Police Department’s  gang list is difficult.
  * The injunctions interfere with programs that successfully reduce violence.
  * They target minority youth and neighborhoods in a racially biased manner.
  * They are used against neighborhoods targeted for gentrification.
  * They use police and courts to deal with what are social programs.

If San Francisco wants to get rid of gangs and violence, it will have to invest in:
Jobs and Job Training
Affordable Housing and Health Care
Substance Abuse / Rehab / Mental Health Programs
Quality and Equal Education
After-School Centers for Children and Youth

Read SF Gray Panthers blog Anti-Gang crackdowns make cities more dangerous, intervention needed instead, Justice Policy Insitute says.

Visit the SF Public Defender's Gant Injunction Resources webpages, including the Justice Pilicy Instutute study, anti-Gang Injunction legal briefs, news articles, press releases and more.

Read the SF BayView's pieces Gang Injunctions Take Root in San Francisco,  Black, Brown Communities Unite against Gang Injunctions and The Community Speaks Out. Also, Demone Hale's SF Bayview piece Gang Injunction: 300 Black Men Targeted.

Other Sources of Information:

Justice Policy Institute  
Homies Unidos  

See a 9 minute video on Gang Injunctions produced by HOMEY, HOMEY is run by community organizers and former gang members who work to prevent violence and promote alternative lifestyles to the street life.