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Gang Intervention

December 20, 2012 | By Sandra Hernandez
Nearly three years after the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles first filed charges against Alex Sanchez, a well-known gang intervention worker, for racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder, those same federal prosecutors are now seeking to dismiss the case. Why? Prosecutors say the evidence they presented to a grand jury contained errors and omissions. Grand jurors relied on that evidence to indict Sanchez in 2009 for his role in allegedly plotting to murder a gang member. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said he's prohibited from discussing anything pertaining to the grand jury proceedings.
December 26, 2005 | Rich Connell and Robert J. Lopez, Times Staff Writers
Inside the locked gates of a county juvenile detention facility in Sylmar, all eyes are on Ernesto "Satan" Deras. Before him are two dozen teenagers accused of violent crimes and facing the prospect of being tried as adults and sent to state prison. Deras, a veteran of the violent street gang Mara Salvatrucha, speaks in a dry monotone, but his message settles in with an ominous weight: Give in to gang leaders or other criminals and you'll waste away in prison -- or die at an early age.
Hope in Youth, the year-old organization whose unprecedented fund-raising muscle helped create the largest anti-gang program in Los Angeles County, is in danger of losing a key government backer, potentially forcing it to disband a substantial part of its effort early next year. The organization says it will lay off about half of its 120-member field staff if the County Board of Supervisors does not act soon to extend its funding. But the board--citing an uncertain budget picture--appears to be in no mood to spend $1.9 million to keep the program intact through June.
January 26, 2014 | STEVE LOPEZ
It was Father Gregory Boyle's first invitation to address the Los Angeles Police Commission, and he had something to get off his chest. For a quarter of a century, Boyle has steered boys and girls, and men and women, out of the gang life through Homeboy Industries, which offers job training, counseling, tattoo removal and more. The model Boyle built has been replicated around the country and abroad. Here in Los Angeles, some 120,000 gang members have voluntarily asked Father Boyle for help starting over.
Citing an alarming level of gang violence in Los Angeles, Mayor James K. Hahn announced Monday additional funding that will nearly double the budget for seven gang-intervention programs across the city, from Pacoima to Watts. The city will provide $1 million to the programs, which now receive $1.28 million to send intervention teams into the streets. The teams broker peace among rival gangs, work with individuals to address their anger and mentor troubled youth.
August 12, 2010 | By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times
The old friends were in their best suits, Ronald "Looney" Barron 's the color of caramel and Tommie "T-Top" Rivers' ribbed with pinstripes, a paisley pocket square peeking out just so. It was uncanny how their lives had mirrored each other's. They were born months apart, raised in the West Adams area. Both were good athletes, charismatic and bright, and both had squandered it all — rising to the level of "shot caller" in their respective gangs, turning their backs on their childhood friendship, then spending most of their 20s in prison.
March 15, 1995 | MIMI KO
Citing a lack of funds, Fullerton school board members have eliminated the job of a gang-intervention coordinator who provides students special counseling and after-school programs. School board members said they cannot afford to pick up the tab when an $8,300-a-year state grant that helped pay for the position expires in June. The grant was given by the governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning.
June 19, 1990 | LYNDA NATALI
With some areas of Orange County in the grip of a seering wave of gang violence this year, the Buena Park Police Department is initiating an experimental program designed to let parents know that their children could be in danger of becoming gang members. Beginning in July, officers on regular patrol duties will be on the lookout for youths susceptible to joining a gang. The program hopes to identify youngsters who may be drifting toward gang membership and steer them away before it is too late.
July 16, 2009 | Scott Gold
Los Angeles City Hall officials are preparing to sever ties with one of the more high-profile gang intervention organizations in South L.A., a decision the agency head decried as "an injustice" -- even dangerous because of the agency's success in reducing violence between rival gangs. The city's Gang Reduction & Youth Development office plans to end its contract with Unity T.W.O. Inc. at the end of the month.
July 16, 1998 | JULIA SCHEERS, Special To The Times
Two 15-year-old boys from Virgil Middle School said in court Wednesday that the director of the gang intervention program at their school provided them with drugs, alcohol and pornographic videos, then sexually molested them at his apartment. Willie Martinez, 41, pleaded not guilty at his earlier arraignment to three counts of oral copulation with a minor and one count of sodomy with a minor. Martinez is the schools's director for the L.A. Bridges program, the $11.
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