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Giving Jobs to Gang Members

April 22, 1988

All of Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gate's "sweeps" won't accomplish what Baxter Sinclair has accomplished by giving jobs to gang members ("Tough Boss Shows Gang Members New Way of Life," Part I, April 15). The problem, for the most part, is not a crime problem, but a societal problem.

What are the unemployment figures in the barrio and the ghetto? Certainly not the 6% that government figures claim--more like 50%--with no prospects for anything better. Give these kids a chance to work, as Sinclair did, and they'll be off the streets and into the mainstream.

Sinclair said he had assumed "what a lot of people had assumed: that gang members would rather support themselves by selling drugs or pulling robberies than by working."

It didn't work every time, but the results, so far, have been staggering. Couldn't other businesses follow Sinclair's example? By saying "yes" to work, they'll automatically be saying "no" to drugs. Give work a chance!

MARJORIE L. SCHWARTZ

Los Angeles

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