The mission of NDAA’s Gun and Gang Violence Prosecution Program is to provide prosecutors and law enforcement with the requisite skill set to effectively respond to emerging and ongoing gun and gang violence. Through professional training, technical assistance, and publications, our objectives are to educate prosecutors about a comprehensive response to gangs, assist prosecutors in developing and implementing holistic responses to gang violence, and encourage prosecutors to act as leaders in prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies.
NDAA’s Gun and Gang Violence Prosecution Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, to:
The United States Department of Justice estimates that there approximately 1.4 million gang members in this country, up 40 percent since 2009, representing 33,000 gangs. As they expand their reach throughout our nation in search of new territory or trafficking routes, gangs bring with them drugs, weapons, and crime, conjuring fear and violence within our communities. Gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions, much higher in others, and they are increasingly beginning to engage in less visible crime, such as identity theft and human trafficking.
Facing this mounting and insidious challenge, local prosecutors and law enforcement must address the conditions that make our communities susceptible to gang-related crime. By better partnering with citizens and law enforcement, prosecutors can take the lead in effective gang intervention prevention, suppression, and reintegration efforts.
NDAA has developed a comprehensive gang response model for prosecutors and law enforcement officers. The model provides prosecutors and law enforcement with a strategic guide for targeting gang violence and addressing the varied gang problems a jurisdiction may face.
A promising new approach to prosecuting gang activity is the use of civil injunctions. By using state nuisance statutes and case law, the gang is declared a nuisance and enjoined from associating in a defined area known as a safety zone. In addition to sharing step-by-step guides and offering technical assistance, upon request NDAA can provide on-site assistance to implement a civil gang injunction strategy.
For example, in December 2009, NDAA sent two gang injunction experts from California to Ogden, Utah, to assist in planning an injunction. A year after the Ogden injunction was enacted graffiti dropped by 40 percent, and overall gang-related crime decreased by 10 percent.
For over 10 years NDAA has maintained a Yahoo group listserv, in which prosecutors can exchange ideas, thoughts on trial strategies, information on experts, or anything that contributes to the prosecutorial profession. The group currently consists of nearly 1,600 prosecutors from all over the world, but mostly within the United States. This listserv is open to all prosecutors and law enforcement personnel. Request to join Prosecutors’ Listserv
NDAA’s Gun and Gang Violence Prosecution Program recently developed a gang-specific listserv, which provides a forum for gang prosecutors and law enforcement to share and seek information on gang trends, prevention and suppression strategies, gang experts, trial advice, and more. Please note: This listserv is only open to gang prosecutors and law enforcement. Request to join Gang Listserv
The Gun and Gang Violence Prosecution Program supports Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a landmark initiative to reduce gun- and gang-related violence. PSN is a nationwide initiative that utilizes existing local programs targeting gun and gang crime and provides these programs with additional tools to be successful. All federal districts have established a PSN task force or have expanded upon a previously existing and successful approach to reducing gun and gang crime within the district. Each district develops a unique focused deterrence program appropriate to the specific needs of the individual communities and tailors a crime prevention message for that region.
PSN trainings are designed to improve the level of knowledge, communication, and collaboration involved in addressing criminal gang issues throughout our nation. The curriculum is based on current policies and proven practices and strategies in the criminal justice field. Separate training tracks provide training for local law enforcement executives, line personnel, investigators and prosecutors.