Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Do the Crime Stats Justify the need for the Injunction? Gang Injunction Further Moth-Balled Judge Takes Trial Date off Calendar

When you read numbers given out about "Gang Issues/Crime” here in Santa Barbara more often than not a high percentage number is used rather than factual numbers. For example in last years 14 page District Attorney's budget flyer (attached to this email) it immediately starts out on pg 3 under "highlights key trends", with the statistic that Gang crime is up  by 1422% over the last ten years. In order to get some type of perspective on the raise in "Gang Crime" I looked at the right hand side of Page 3 and saw that the S.B.D.A.'s office handled a total of 14,633 felony cases in 1 year. Then I went to page 5 and saw were the D.A.'s office shows only 274 cases were classified as "Gang", or in other words 0.0187 of 1% percent was "Gang related". Now lets break that down even further and ask how many of the 274 case were from the City of Santa Barbara  and what portion of those cases came from Santa Maria and Lompoc . Let’s see 1422% vs. .0187 of 1 percent, 1422% does not seem to really reflect anything does it.

Gang Injunction Further Moth-Balled

Judge Takes Trial Date off Calendar

Thursday, August 16, 2012
"The October 1 trial date for the city’s proposed gang injunction ​— ​which, among other things, would restrict known gang members from wearing certain clothing and keep them from gathering in specific areas of the city ​— ​has been taken off-calendar by Superior Court Judge Colleen Sterne in order to allow the city more time to gather information.
Attorneys from the city and District Attorney’s Office said in court Monday morning that they have filed 27 petitions with the juvenile court to have juvenile records released. Along with the Eastside and Westside gangs, the city named 30 people in the proposed injunction that it deemed the “baddest of the bad.” The petitions are all related to named defendants, while the three others apparently do not have juvenile records.
When the city initially released 1,200 pages of information to defense attorneys, it had cited the juvenile records of more than 100 alleged gang members in support of the injunction. The judge decided that the public release of that information was not allowed, and that the city would have to petition the juvenile court to release the information, which is kept under seal. So the DA’s Office has filed the petitions, but the juvenile court has yet to hold any hearings on whether it will release the info. The matter will be back in court on 10/29."

I am trying to keep this brief but there are several flaws with Santa Barbara's attempt at a “Gang Injunction”. One of the biggest objections by the community has with the "Gang Injunction" in its current version is that it has no provision that would allow for periodic reviews or expiration. The city of San Francisco's took a different approach in their Injunction;" The City Attorney will also conduct a review of each gang injunction every three years to determine whether the injunction should continue in effect and, if so, if any individual should be removed from the enforcement list."

The first draft of Santa Barbara’s "Gang Injunctions” stated that the need exist because; "The People have no plain, speedy or adequate remedy at law and will continue to suffer irreparable damage, injury, and harm unless equitable relief is granted." Fortunately for us that is a true statement and was an intentional act by our Forefathers when creating this Country of ours. Now I do not know the law, or the entire inn’s and outs of protecting a city. I do know what happens to a person when they are falsely charged with crimes by those within the criminal system first hand, and it almost ruined my life.

Injunctions take away due process rights and criminalize normal behavior, such as being outside past an arbitrary time or associating with others on the list. In other words, if you are coming home later from work or attend a cultural event where someone else on the list shows up, you can be put in jail. Since such orders override a fundamental principle of natural justice that all parties should be given a fair hearing, they are to be issued with much restraint, and only in exceptional situations.

 In closing the math does not add up to justify the amount of harmful attention we give our youth especially through the media. I truly hope that those in the position to prevent the “Gang Injunction” do so in a swift manner so that we may begin focusing on other ways to work with our youth.

Next is a link to a letter from The Fund for Santa Barbara were they share some concerns they have with the Gang Injunction and the opt out portion. I reference the letter in a blog posting @
Here is link to the Fund for Santa Barbara letter. I do not think the letter shows up on the Funds web site any more.

Below are three links and  portions of opt out language for 3 different cities and their "Gang Injunctions", they differ quite a bit. Some times in order to get a better perspective about an issue in Santa Barbara, you have to compare how other Cities and Counties handled the same issue. For example the Fund for Santa Barbara does not seem to be against a Gang Injunction. What they seem to object to is the language with ours.

This form is for use by persons living in the city of Oakland who wish to be removed from an
injunction legal proceeding (pre-injunction request), or from an injunction that has already been
entered (post-injunction request).  A gang injunction is an order from the Court which is
enforceable only against those who have been personally served.
If you wish to be removed from a gang injunction proceeding or an injunction order, you must
provide sufficient information to the city of Oakland to show that (1) You are not an active gang
member and (2) You have not participated in any of the activities prohibited by a gang injunction
for a period of two years following service of the injunction.  Other relevant information will also
be considered by the City.
You have the right not to participate in this administrative review process.  You also have the
right to seek relief directly in Court to have your name removed from a gang injunction
proceeding or court order.  You may file such a motion in Alameda Superior Court any bypass
this administrative process, if you prefer.
The City will accept and review your petition if you believe that (a) your name should not have
been included or should no longer be included in a gang injunction proceeding or injunction
order, (b) you wish to have an expedited review process to have your name removed from a
gang injunction proceeding or court order.  The City’s review process is intended to provide
individuals a fair and accessible way to show their entitlement to have their names removed
from a gang injunction proceeding or court order.
The steps of the review and removal process are:
1. FILING YOUR PETITION: You can complete this form or submit other documentation to
show that you are not an active gang member or engaged in any of the activities prohibited by a
gang injunction.  You may submit any information or documents you think are relevant to your
request.  Instructions on where to file your petition are below.
petition and documents and will contact you to schedule a meeting to discuss your petition.  You
may bring an attorney or other person to the meeting.
3. DECISION ON YOUR PETITION:  The City will review your petition and meet with you
and will then decide whether your petition includes sufficient verifiable information to support
your request for removal.  You will be given a written decision, within 30 days, granting or
denying your petition to have your name removed from a gang injunction proceeding or order
and informing you of the reasons. This decision will be mailed to your home address, or, if you 2
prefer for safety or convenience reasons, to another address of your choosing.  A denial of your
petition does not preclude you from seeking removal directly from the Court.  Moreover, you are
encouraged to return to the City and submit a new petition once you’re ready to show you the
required documents and information that would support your petition.
4. PETITIONING THE COURT FOR REMOVAL: If your request for removal is granted by
the City and you have been enjoined by the Court in an injunction, you still are required to file an
application and/or motion with Alameda Superior Court to formally have your name removed
from a court proceeding or court order. To facilitate this process, the City will not file any papers
opposing your request for removal.  If your petition is granted prior to the issuance of an
injunction order.
If the City denies your request for removal, you still have the option of going to court and filing
papers requesting removal directly from the Court. The City may oppose your request based on
information and evidence that shows you remain involved in gang and nuisance activities within
the Safety Zone.
5. OPT OUT ASSISTANCE:  You may contact a community or civic organization if you
have questions or need assistance with the City’s petition process, including but not limited to
the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights at (414) 543-9444.
The City will keep the information obtained through the petition process confidential to the
extent required by law and will only use your information to review your entitlement for the
purpose stated in this application.  The City will take into account any privacy concerns you
might have related to the information you provide through this process.
As a condition of participating in this review process, you must agree not to use the City’s
responses or information shared with you for any other purpose other than in connection with a
motion you may file with the Court, or to show that you have been removed from a gang
injunction order.

Herrera, ACLU, Lawyers’ Committee Reach
Accord on Gang Injunction Opt Out Procedure

Criteria for Removal From a Civil Gang Injunction
In deciding whether or not to approve or deny an individual's opt out request, the City Attorney will
consider the totality of the circumstances and evidence when evaluating individual requests, the central
criterion being whether the individual is currently an active gang member. Among other factors, the City
Attorney will consider whether the individual is gainfully employed, pursuing an education, and any
activities that demonstrate a willingness and desire not to engage or associate in gang related activities.
The City Attorney will favorably consider evidence of an individual removing gang related tattoos,
ceasing to wear gang colors, or ceasing to spend time with known gang members. The City Attorney will
also consider relevant the length of time a person has disassociated himself or herself from the gang.
Because the manner in which an individual disassociates from a gang will often be several and varied, the
time factor may be different for different individuals, and it will be the totality of the evidence, including
the time factor, that will be considered by the City Attorney.
The City Attorney will also conduct a review of each gang injunction every three years to determine whether the injunction should continue in effect and, if so, if any individual should be removed from the enforcement list. Should the City Attorney determine that an individual merits removal from an enforcement list as a result of that review, the City Attorney will seek a Court order modifying the injunction, and notice of removal will be issued to the affected individual. Parties to the opt out accord additionally agreed to meet and confer prior to the third anniversary of the memorandum of understanding to determine whether changes need to be made to its terms or scope.
Link to my blog story that has a link to first draft of Santa Barbara City Gang Injunction
Link to Gang Injungtion
Page 46 City of Santa Barbara Opt Out of Gang Injunction
 Opt-Out of Proof Required: Served Person must truthfully declare,
under penalty of perjury that, for the continuous period of three (3) years preceding the date of
Served Person's motion, with the starting date being no earlier than the date of a permanent
judgment, and excluding any time spent incarcerated, any time on supervised release (parole or
probation), or any time spent outside the country after having been deported, all of the
7 following are and have been true:
8 1. Served Person has not claimed membership in any gang;
9 11. Served Person has not been documented by law enforcement
10 associating with any known, active members of the Eastside or Westside
gangs, other than immediate family members;
111. Served Person has not been arrested for any felony or
misdemeanor crime;
15 IV. Served Person has not obtained any new gang-related tattoos; and
16 v. Served Person has been consistently and gainfully employed for a
17 period of one year prior to the date of Served Person's motion;
18 d. No Effect in Other Proceedings: Plaintiff shall not be bound by the
criteria of this Opt-Out Provision in any action, civil or criminal, other than a motion brought
under this Provision in this action;
e. Judgment Not Admiss

S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!

S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!

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