New Blueprint Builds on Past Successful Anti-Gang Program That Fenty Ended; Injunctions Not Mentioned
From 1999 to 2003, there were 21 Latino gang-related homicides in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Then the District of Columbia created the Gang Intervention Partnership. From 2004 to 2006, there was only 1 such homicide.
Unfortunately, the Fenty Administration in 2007 cut funding to the Gang Intervention Partnership (GIP) and disbanded the MPD Gang Intelligence Patnership Unit.
The just-released March 2009 Blueprint for Action on Responding to Gang, Crew and Youth Violence in D.C., funded by MPD, builds on the success of the Columbia Heights GIP and urges the District to repair and strengthen the current broken web of social services, which has proven real-world success in curbing gangs and cutting violence. The Blueprint for Action does not mention gang injunctions, which Mayor Fenty/Councilmember Evans/Councilmember Graham have fastened on as a new cure-all. So strong is the allure of "get-tough" political grand-standing like injunctions that even Councilmember Graham, who chaired the press conference releasing the Blueprint and knows full-well the real soutions, has been backing injunctions. The track record of iinjunctions has been that they tend to reinforce gang membership--the opposite of what we want. Injunctions have also generally not worked to reduce violence while invading the rights of innocent people and focusing police efforts on invasive, often abusive tactics. The NAACP, the National Black Police Association, the ACLU, and many religious leaders and social service experts all support the D.C. Council's overwhelming rejection (9-4) of gang injunctions.