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New Santa Barbara County Grand Jury Report Calls For New Focus On Dealing With Gangs

A new Grand Jury report says Santa Barbara County needs to do more to give kids an alternative to gangs.  It says at the same time the county needs to reestablish its disbanded Sheriff’s Office gang unit.

The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury studied the gang problem in the county, as well as the current response to it.  It found that laws have become more lenient towards gang activity, and that gangs have also shifted tactics to avoid prosecution.

The report calls on law enforcement agencies in the county to do a better job of collaborating on gang related issues.  It says they should establish a countywide data base.

The Grand Jury says the county needs to reestablish after school programs to help keep kids out of gangs.  And, it calls for more support for vocational programs for kids already in the county’s judicial system.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.