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Fact Sheet: Department of Justice Comprehensive Efforts to Fight Gang Violence

The Department of Justice has enacted a comprehensive plan across its many components to effectively fight and limit the impact of gang violence nationwide. This plan includes two primary elements: Prioritize prevention programs to provide America’s youth, as well as offenders returning to the community, with opportunities that help them resist gang involvement; and ensure robust enforcement policies when gang-related violence does occur. This approach also recognizes the critical need for the Department to continue to work hand-in-hand with state and local law enforcement and local community groups.

Focused Attention in Each District

The Department established an Anti-Gang Coordination Committee to organize the Department’s wide-ranging efforts to combat gangs, which includes focusing needed attention in every region.

Preventing Gang Violence

The first element in the Department’s approach to fighting gang violence starts at the root of the problem. The Department has organized and supported the following programs aimed at preventing youth entry into gangs, and giving recently released prisoners an alternative to gang membership.

Coordination, Intelligence and Enforcement

Through the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC), Gang Targeting, Enforcement, and Coordination Center (Gang TECC), and Gang Squad the Department has established national coordination on intelligence and enforcement mechanisms aimed at dismantling the most significant violent national and regional gangs.

Coordination: The GangTECC brings together all of the operational components of the Department, as well as other agencies within the Federal Government to ensure that tactical and strategic intelligence is shared among law enforcement agencies, and serves as a central coordinating center for multi-jurisdictional gang investigations involving federal law enforcement agencies.

Intelligence: The NGIC integrates the gang intelligence assets of all Department of Justice agencies, and has established partnerships with other federal, state, and local agencies that possess gang-related information.

Enforcement: The Criminal Division’s Gang Squad is a core team of experienced anti-gang prosecutors who serve as the prosecutorial arm of the Department’s efforts to achieve maximum national impact against violent gangs.

Expanding Programs that Work

Project Safe Neighborhoods: In May 2001, President Bush announced Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun crime in America. In 2006, the Department of Justice expanded PSN to include new and enhanced anti-gang efforts.  The goal is to use strategies and partnerships with state and local law enforcement and communities pioneered under PSN to shut down violent gangs in America.

Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative: In April 2007, the Department expanded the “Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative” from six to 10 sites nationwide. The initiative provides $2.5 million in targeted grant funding to each of the ten sites to implement a three prong strategy in the fight against gangs:  prevention, enforcement and prisoner re-entry.  The 10 sites include Los Angeles; Tampa, Fla; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas/Ft. Worth; Milwaukee, Wis.; Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s “222 Corridor” which stretches from Easton to Lancaster; Rochester, N.Y.; Oklahoma City; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Initiative for Safer Communities

In May 2007, the Department launched a series of new and comprehensive initiatives designed to expand and enhance federal law enforcement efforts aimed at reducing violent crime, provide assistance to state and local law enforcement, and strengthen laws and increase funding.  These efforts include:

Supporting Local Law Enforcement

Combatting  Transnational Gangs

The Department’s comprehensive gang strategy also involves working with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and our international partners to fight gangs that operate both in the United States and other countries. These efforts include: