Life Under Gang Injunctions: Creating Pathways for Removal
As a recent article from Buzzfeed highlights, life under a Los Angeles gang injunction can have severe consequences. For Echo Park native Peter Arellano, his inclusion on a gang injunction makes it is illegal for him to see his father. “It’s like you’re free, but you’re in a prison at the same time,” described Arellano.
While gang injunctions were pioneered to restrict gang movements and meetings during the 1980’s, today, these practices continue to have life altering consequences for young men like Arellano. Of the 9,400 Los Angeles residents subject to gang injunctions - less than 50 have ever been removed.
“The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has a process for removing people from a gang injunction, but it can be long and arduous,” said Josh Green, criminal justice program manager and staff attorney with the Urban Peace Institute.
The Urban Peace Institute has worked diligently to assist to residents like Arellano to appeal their inclusion on gang injunctions. “In some cases, it took two years, and this included a client who had never been arrested for anything” commented Green.