[JURIST] In a speech in Los Angeles on Friday, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced [speech text] that the US Department of Justice, through its anti-gang initiative, will give out $15 million in grants to six areas to help fund their fight against gang violence. The eligible areas are Los Angeles, California; Tampa, Florida; Cleveland, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; and a region known as the 222 Corridor in southern Pennsylvania. The grant money will be portioned out over a three year period. AP has more.
Friday's announcement ties in with the Justice Department's broader effort to combat gang-related problems in communities throughout the US, which it announced in February [official press release]. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey [summary], gang members commit almost 6 percent [Bureau of Justice Statistics report] of the 6.6 million violent victimizations each year. Over 70 percent of states have enacted some form of legislation [National Youth Gang Center summary; database of gang-related legislation] to curb gang-related violence; the legislation generally enhances penalties for crimes such as drive-by shootings, graffiti, gang activity and forfeiture, and gang member recruitment.