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Demonstration at Courthouse Against Gang Enhancements and the Overcriminalization of Youth
by ~Bradley (bradley [at] riseup.net)
Wednesday Jun 17th, 2009 10:42 PM
On June 17th, community members, organized by the newly formed Alliance Against Gang Enhancements, rallied and handed out flyers on the steps of the Santa Cruz County Courthouse and the corner of Ocean and Water to educate the public about the realities of gang enhanced sentences. Organizers say that the sentencing "enhancements" [sic] broadly criminalize youth and do not deter future gang crimes. Rather, they result in huge costs passed on to taxpayers and overcriminalize youth in marginalized communities.

Support for the demonstration was expressed by many car drivers and passengers, as well as people entering the courthouse. However, some folks were apparently less enthusiastic, such as the prosecutor against Richard Bentancourt. The jurors for Bentancourt's trail were reportedly brought into the courthouse through a backdoor. Bentancourt and two other people are on trial this week for a "gang crime" in which the defendants allegedly participated in a fight in Santa Cruz.

A "gang enhancement" or allegation of involvement in a criminal street gang can transform a simple misdemeanor charge, like shoplifting or trespassing, into a felony crime with consequences that include prison time and juveniles being tried as adults.
schools-not-jails_6-17-09.jpg
For more information, please read the announcement for the demonstration:

RALLY With Alliance Against Gang Enhancements
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/06/15/18601775.php
§Gang Laws Are Unfair!
by ~Bradley Wednesday Jun 17th, 2009 10:42 PM
gang-laws-unfair_6-17-09.jpg
§Stop Gang Enhancements
by ~Bradley Wednesday Jun 17th, 2009 10:42 PM
stop-gang-enhancements_6-17-09.jpg
§Gang Enhancements Are Unfair
by ~Bradley Wednesday Jun 17th, 2009 10:42 PM
gang-enhancements-unfair_6-17-09.jpg
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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preventioninterpretationThursday Jun 25th, 2009 11:21 AM
confused: "prevention"?aWednesday Jun 24th, 2009 5:38 PM
Teacher, PVUSDAbel MejiaFriday Jun 19th, 2009 9:40 PM
Nice sign...Friday Jun 19th, 2009 8:40 AM
this.antioch arrowThursday Jun 18th, 2009 4:29 AM
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