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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AG

TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2007 (202) 514-2007


WWW.USDOJ.GOV TDD (202) 514-1888

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales


Announces Additional Funding for
Oklahoma City as Part of the Justice
Department’s Comprehensive Anti-
Gang Initiative
Oklahoma City to Receive $2.5 Million to Combat
Gang Violence
and Increase Prevention Efforts
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today joined U.S.
Attorney John C. Richter of the Western District of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City
Mayor Mick Cornett to announce the expansion of the Justice Department’s
Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative to include Oklahoma City as one of four
additional sites targeting dangerous street gangs and promoting prevention efforts to
keep communities and neighborhoods safe. As part of the Comprehensive Anti-
Gang Initiative, Oklahoma City will receive $2.5 million in additional grant funding
to combat gang violence.

“Every American deserves to live free from the fear of violent gangs,” said Attorney
General Gonzales. “The Justice Department’s Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative
helps keep communities safe by providing additional resources to increase law
enforcement and prevention efforts in targeted areas across the nation. I applaud the
work of the men and women of Oklahoma who have dedicated their lives to
protecting our communities, and I am pleased to provide additional resources that
will help make the neighborhoods of Oklahoma City safer from gang violence.”

Oklahoma City is one of four target areas chosen to receive additional funding as
part of the Department’s initiative to combat gang violence, including Indianapolis,
Rochester, N.Y., and Raleigh/Durham, N.C. Supported by $2.5 million in grant
funds per site, the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative incorporates prevention and
enforcement efforts, as well as programs to assist released prisoners as they re-enter
society. By integrating prevention, enforcement and prisoner re-entry, the
Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative aims to address gang membership and gang
violence at every stage.

“I want to thank the hard work and dedication of law enforcement and city leaders,
who have come together to fight the scourge of gang violence,” said U.S. Attorney
Richter. “We have an ambitious goal—the eradication of criminal gangs in
Oklahoma City. With these grants, we can build on the progress we already are
making in both the number of prosecutions and the number of our City’s young
people whom we are able to save from the clutches of gang life.”

In February 2006, Attorney General Gonzales announced the creation of the Justice
Department’s Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative, designed to support law
enforcement in combatting violent gang crime, while also promoting prevention
efforts that discourage gang involvement. As part of the initiative, in May 2006 the
Department provided anti-gang resources for prevention, enforcement and offender
reentry efforts to six sites across the nation: Los Angeles, Tampa, Cleveland,
Dallas/Ft. Worth, Milwaukee and the “222 Corridor” that stretches from Easton to
Lancaster in Pennsylvania. The Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative has already
made strides in the original six sites.For example, in Cleveland, one of the most
violent gangs operating in the target area has been dismantled through both federal
and state investigations and prosecutions that have resulted in 63 federal and state
indictments. Fifty-five defendants have pled guilty and the remainder are awaiting
trial.

The Justice Department’s strategy to combat gang violence around the nation is
two-fold: First, prioritize prevention programs to provide America’s youth, as well
as offenders returning to the community, with opportunities that help them resist
gang involvement. Second, ensure robust enforcement policies when gang-related
violence does occur.

As a result, in Oklahoma City, on May 23, 2006, U.S. Attorney Richter, joined by
federal, state and local law enforcement partners announced a comprehensive anti-
gang strategy for Oklahoma City and the formation of the Oklahoma City
Metropolitan Gang Task Force.

Oklahoma City was selected to receive these grant funds based on a variety of
factors, including the need for concentrated anti-gang resources, established
infrastructure to support the envisioned prevention, enforcement and re-entry
components, and existing partnerships prepared to focus intensely on the gang
problem. Building on the comprehensive anti-gang strategy unveiled last year, U.S.
Attorney John Richter will work with state, local and community partners in
Oklahoma City to implement strategies that address the following areas:

Prevention – The Department will make available approximately $1 million in


grants per community to support comprehensive prevention efforts such as the
Gang Reduction Program, which focuses on reducing youth-gang crime and
violence by addressing the full range of personal, family and community
factors that contribute to juvenile delinquency and gang activity.

Enforcement – The Department will make available approximately $1 million


in grants per community to help support enforcement programs that will focus
law enforcement efforts on the most significant violent gang offenders.

Prisoner Re-entry – The Department will make available approximately


$500,000 per community to create re-entry assistance programs with faith-
based and other community organizations that will provide transitional
housing, job readiness and placement assistance, and substance abuse and
mental health treatment to prisoners re-entering society.

The Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative complements existing Department of


Justice programs to combat gangs and reduce gun-related crime throughout the
country. Those programs include the Violent Crime Impact Teams, Safe Streets
Task Forces and the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative, under which the
number of federal firearms prosecutions has more than doubled in the past six years,
compared to the six years prior to PSN’s implementation. Since 2001, the
Department of Justice has allocated over $1.6 billion to PSN to combat violent
crime at the federal, state and local levels.

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