Association of Prosecuting AttorneysMay 11, 2012
California County Leaders Discuss Success of Area Gang Injunction
MODESTO -- Stanislaus County's top prosecutor on Thursday evening gave residents an update on a court-approved injunction designed to suppress the activities of a gang terrorizing a south Modesto neighborhood. District Attorney Birgit Fladager spoke to residents gathered at the monthly meeting of the South Modesto Municipal Advisory Council. She said the gang injunction is not only the first of its kind granted in this county but also the first gang injunction approved in this region. The district attorney's office filed a civil lawsuit and was granted the injunction against 20 known Deep South Side Norteños in September 2009. There now are more than 100 names on the injunction list, and the gang has an estimated 150 members. The injunction declares the gang's public behavior a nuisance. Violators are arrested if caught engaging in any of 14 banned behaviors within the designated boundaries. Violating the injunction is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by 180 days in jail and three years of probation. A state law that went into effect in January does not allow those on a gang injunction to possess firearm ammunition. The law's restrictions apply everywhere, not just the injunction zone. Prosecutors say injunction enforcement has resulted in fewer crimes in the neighborhood and an increased police presence. The injunction has also spawned community improvement efforts such as the Southside Collaborative group and a mentorship program for at-risk youths at Fairview Elementary School.