San Diego County district attorney files petitions to lift all gang injunctions


In a move some view as a win for criminal justice reform, San Diego County Dist. Atty. Summer Stephan said this week that her office has filed petitions in court to lift all 20 injunctions against street gangs in cities throughout the county.

Seven of the 20 gang injunctions — court-approved orders that restrict the movements of alleged gang members — were dissolved as of Tuesday, with approval from judges in San Diego Superior Court.

For decades, police and prosecutors have used the injunctions to curb gang violence. But in some cases, the restrictions under the orders made it difficult for those who left that life behind to move on. Critics for years said injunctions, which stay in effect for a lifetime, impede the ability of people who put their gang days behind them to get jobs and housing. Some said the orders target communities of color.

“In listening to the communities we serve, I heard concern for the violence and harm that criminal organized gangs cause, but also that families are looking for more opportunities for healthy reentry for those who have turned their lives around,” Stephan said in a statement.

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