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HOME > Prosecutions > Gangs

  Tulare County has emerged in recent years as fertile ground for a growing gang population. The level of violence has escalated as the resources devoted to law enforcement have shrunk. Drive-by shootings have brought great community sorrow and attention to this matter. The number of gang-related cases prosecuted by the Office of the District Attorney increases each year. In response, the Gang Violence Suppression Unit was created to target gangs and gang leaders in particular. Experienced and trained prosecutors are assigned to this program and case loads are reduced so the attorney can focus maximum attention on program cases. Currently, three deputy district attorneys and a Supervising Attorney serving as Gang Coordinator, are assigned to this program. In addition, two designated criminal investigators are members of the Gang Suppression Unit.

One of the goals of the Gang Violence Suppression Unit is to serve gang members with S.T.E.P. Act notification. The Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act is an allegation of gang activity that, if found true at trial, increases prison time by up to three years.

Once a gang has been identified and the requisite number of crimes has been established, police agencies throughout the county submit information to the
Office of the District Attorney regarding gang members. The information consists of the gang member's name, moniker, identifying tattoos and the date, time and name of the law enforcement officer to whom he/she admitted gang membership. Currently, members of numerous gangs have been served with S.T.E.P. Act notifications in Tulare County and the number is steadily increasing.

In 1998, the District Attorney was joined by the Sheriff and Chief Probation Officer in forming a special anti-gang program that will join with city police departments and members of community based organizations including churches to eradicate gangs from Tulare County.


Office of the District Attorney, County of Tulare
 ▫  221 S Mooney Blvd, Rm 224, Visalia, CA 93291-4593    (559) 636-5494
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