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Study: Gang Injunctions Provide Short-term Relief to Communities

IRVINE, Calif.

Gang injunctions provide short-term benefits, including calming residents’ fear of confrontations with gang members, according to a study released this week by researchers from the University of California, Irvine and University of Southern California.

The study, which was published in Criminology & Public Policy, also reveals that additional efforts by the community and city officials could increase the positive effects.

“The consistently positive short-term outcomes indicate that injunctions are a promising strategy,” said Cheryl Maxson, the study’s lead author and a professor of criminology, law and society at UCI. “Injunctions crack the window of opportunity for change, but for enduring community improvements, we need not just a stick but a carrot.”

The injunctions attempt to reduce gang activity by prohibiting some gang members from associating, wearing gang colors or staying out past a curfew, researchers said.

The study focused on a civil gang injunction in San Bernardino, where residents who lived where the injunction was enforced reported an 8 percent decrease in intimidation by gang members, along with less visibility of gangs.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Justice.

— Associated Press

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