Gang Injunction Clears Hurdle

Judge Orders Release of Select Juvenile Records

Thursday, July 11, 2013
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Three years after Santa Barbara’s gang injunction was first proposed, prosecuting attorneys have finally won access to about half the juvenile records they’ve long sought to make the case that the 30 alleged gang members ​— ​all adults ​— ​they’ve targeted with the injunction constitute “the worst of the worst.” Because state law regards juvenile records as highly confidential, lawyers with the District Attorney’s and the City Attorney offices have had to fight long and hard to persuade Judge Thomas Adams ​— ​the juvenile judge in South County ​— ​that the records should be released. Of the 9,000 documents sought ​— ​mostly police reports ​— ​Adams ordered roughly 5,000 released. Now it will be up to Judge Colleen Sterne to determine whether those records actually demonstrate what prosecutors, the city attorney, and law enforcement officials contend they do.

Thirty alleged gang members have been named by the proposed injunction, which if approved by Sterne would significantly limit their freedom of assembly and to congregate in public with other known gang members. Of the 30, 27 had juvenile records sought by prosecutors. Of those, Judge Adams ruled the juvenile records of one were totally off limits, and for another all the juvenile records would be made available. Of the rest, Adams issued mixed rulings, meaning some records were released and others were not. Adams has one remaining case on which to rule.

Because gang injunctions are civil matters rather than criminal, those named are not entitled to legal representation. All but eight had legal representation about their juvenile records. The gang injunction remains the subject of low-level but sustained community controversy. Some, like Police Chief Cam Sanchez, insist it’s necessary to protect young Latinos from being jumped into gang life, while others ​— ​like Councilmember Cathy Murillo ​— ​argue the resources needed to enforce a gang injunction could be much better spent on intervention and prevention programs.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

I do not recall ever seeing any "Camarino Sanchez" on any ballot.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 1:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow! Common sense wins a small battle.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 4:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So Judge Sterne climbed out of her giant robe and made a decision. Awesome!

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 2:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't agree with some of the people for or against the present SBGI. Most people don't understand what all the SBGI entales. There is no standard GI. Every one is written differently. Most people I've spoken to assume its simply only targeting all gang members and or worst offenders. If you haven't read all and understand the present SBGI then how can you make a educated decision on your opinion if you're for or against?

There are parts I agree but stronger parts that I disagree. Look im all for locking up and even shipping everyone to a deserted island that are simply a menace to society but there are parts in the SBGI like for example if passed gives the police a blanket of 300 John Does names that they can easily add any name that they feel and many cases simply on their assumptions added to the GI with out any due process. That is simply giving the SBPD too much power that has a great potential to affect many innocent kids.

This is a deep subject and unless you lived and actuslly experienced police harrasment growing up in the high density mostly latino neighborhoods of SB you wont understand let alone agree with my perspective on the SBGI.

The City and County have already spent a few million $ on this GI yet the WS Boys and Girls Club struggles financially just to keep their doors open every year.

My nephew who is a latino who is more of a jock with a swag as I see him has no tattoos or in a gang. He fits the SBPD profile of a gang member that is he is a young latino and dresses with some.what baggy clothes id say more loose fitting like allot of the he kids do. I'm not talking about his pants hanging under his ass type.

He grew up in a neighborhood that is presently designated in the SBGI. He has childhood friends that took the wrong path in life and sees them around the neighborhood at the store or simply walking. He would as I would do the same thing and say hello whats up? Shake hands and even shoulder hug. That is normal typical way of greeting. A SB police officer rolled up while
Nephew was greeting a suspected gang member that he has known since kindergarten and was ordered to lift up his shirt and pull down his pants because they wanted to see if he had any tattoes. My nephew has no criminal record or any tattoos yet complied but the whole time asking "why are you doing this to me, I didnt do anything". The police officer wrote down his name and added to their records a gang associate. This is standard practice by some SBPD officers though they will never admit it. This practice.has been going on forever.

oigie1 (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 6:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bimboteskie: The disclosure of juvenile records issue was not before Judge Sterne. It was before Judge Adams. Now that some of the records have been ordered disclosed, the DA and City can attempt to use those records in the gang injunction case, which is before Judge Sterne.

ice9 (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 8:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow oigie1, that was a very long way to simply state an anecdote that is beyond irrelevant. I have read our proposed injunction as well as the basis for the Constitutional approval. I understand the injunction and support it. I suggest you do the same before you make nutty claims about the slippery slope.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 6:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Go get 'em. Punk thugs are punk thugs. The gang cycle must be permanently disrupted and eliminated for good. Whatever it takes. Punks who willfully choose this "lifestyle" give up their right to live among law-abiding citizens. Animals who bite get caged or put down.

Yes, the issue is that easy.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2013 at 8:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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