The proposed prosecution model for countering youth gangs would implement a number of strategies in conjunction with other actors not only in the criminal justice system, but in the community-based service agency system and the local community.
The range of strategies to be used should include primarily suppression but also community mobilization. Prosecutors should assist community organizations to develop better strategies of social intervention and opportunity provision for gang members and gang-prone youth. Other prosecutory activities that bear on countering the youth gang problem are vertical prosecution (a single prosecutor handling a case from start to finish), case selection and data management, evidence collection and use, testimony and victim/witness protection, bail and detention, trial proceedings, and disposition and sentencing recommendation. The gang prosecutor also sometimes becomes a key organizer or administrator of a justice system or communitywide task force established to address the gang problem. The prosecutor should participate in local agencies or community meetings and respond directly to the concerns of local citizens about the problem. The prosecutor is often the key official who defines the response to the gang problem for legislative purposes. These specialized responsibilities require that a prosecutor receive specialized gang training. The prosecutor's efforts in addressing the gang problem should be evaluated to determine whether each component of the model achieves its intended effects.
Report (Technical Assistance)
Date Published: January 1, 1991