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Gang Crimes

More than 1,400 criminal street gangs exist in Los Angeles County. Gang crimes – from graffiti and quality of life problems to murder and extortion – devastate a community’s well-being and sense of security. To fight gang activity, the District Attorney’s Office pursues a comprehensive strategy that includes suppression, intervention and prevention.


Prosecution & Witness Protection

The District Attorney’s Office removes dangerous criminals from the street by aggressively prosecuting criminal gang activity. The Hardcore Gang Division is comprised of more than 50 specially trained and highly experienced attorneys who prosecute the most difficult gang murder and attempted murder cases in Los Angeles County. Laws such as Penal Code Section 186.20, the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) Act, enable deputy district attorneys to seek enhanced penalties and stiffer sentences for gang members. The Hardcore Gang Division vertically prosecutes cases throughout the county, which means that one deputy district attorney prosecutes each case from beginning to end.

The testimony of crime witnesses is vital to the prosecution of gang cases. The District Attorney’s Office recognizes that fear of gangs can prevent witnesses from cooperating with a prosecution. As a result, deputy district attorneys often work with the D.A.’s Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement agencies to relocate witnesses to safer environments.


Hardcore Gang prosecutors participate in the nine Community Law Enforcement And Recovery (C.L.E.A.R.) program sites throughout the County. C.L.E.A.R. – a multi-agency collaborative law enforcement effort – targets members of specific gangs that pose the greatest threat to a specifically defined community. By teaming with police,  probation officers, deputy city attorneys, and others, prosecutors effectively combat gang activity.

C.L.E.A.R. Program Sites:
  • L.A.P.D. Foothill Division
  • L.A.P.D. Newton Division
  • L.A.P.D. Northeast Division
  • L.A.P.D. Southwest Division
  • L.A.P.D. Southeast Division
  • L.A.P.D. Rampart Division
  • L.A.P.D. 77th Street Division
  • L.A.P.D. Hollenbeck Division -- Ramona Gardens
  • L.A.P.D. Hollenbeck Division -- Estrada


The District Attorney’s Office has allocated resources specifically to help craft gang injunctions. Injunctions are a civil approach to dealing with the gang problem. Injunctions target specific gangs and gang members, making it a crime for them to conduct certain activities. Injunctions are imposed in specific areas and have helped communities reclaim parks, neighborhoods, and other areas previously held hostage by gangs.


In addition to prosecution and intervention efforts, the District Attorney’s Office works with youth to prevent gang involvement. Whether fighting truancy, mentoring youth, or teaching elementary school students about the social and legal consequences of crime, the District Attorney’s Office helps prevent youth involvement in gangs. Visit this website’s Working with Communities section to read more about the District Attorney’s crime prevention initiatives.

Hardcore Gang Division
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
210 W. Temple Street, Room 17-1116
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Site updated: 31 Oct 2014
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