SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Hundreds of people previously suspected of being gang members are having their names removed from injunction lists in San Diego County.
In what is being referred to by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office as a “second chance,” 332 people will no longer be listed as suspected gang members by local authorities. The DA’s Office said 467 will remain on injunction lists.
With the removal, those no longer on the list can effectively receive fair opportunities for employment and choices of where to live.
“People who are genuinely taking steps to be a lawful, contributing member of our community shouldn’t be punished by a civil court order that might be stopping them from getting a job, connecting with their relatives or moving on with their lives. We worked closely with our law enforcement partners to identify people who might qualify for removal while at the same time making sure we’re continuing to protect the public from those who still engage in gang-related crimes and activities,” said County District Attorney Summer Stephan.
The DA’s Office said a person must meet the following criteria to qualify for removal from the list:
-- cannot have a conviction for a violent felony for the past 10 years
-- must have remained out of custody and had no criminal convictions for the past five years (excluding minor traffic violations)
-- have had no activity that demonstrates continued loyalty to, or membership in a criminal street gang for the past five years
Escondido Police Department Chief Craig Carter added, “Every law enforcement agency in the county wants individuals to disassociate themselves from the gangs and the activity that landed them on the civil injunctions. Police departments across the county are joining the DA in being proactive in removing individuals from these injunctions and we hope other gang members see this as a motivation to end their gang affiliation and become a productive member of their community. We want nothing more than to keep our youth from joining gangs in the first place.”
According to Stephan, her office will conduct reviews once a year to update injunction lists.
Those who would like to petition for removal from the injunction lists can fill out a form on the district attorney’s website.