Letter to the editor in the Oakland Tribune

Injunctions don’t work

AS A longtime resident of North Oakland, I am writing to respond to the recent editorial favoring a gang injunction for North Oakland.

It seems the Tribune is only listening to one side of this debate. Studies show that gang injunctions don’t work. They can even make things worse. When young men are labeled as gang members and are treated as such, they can become so alienated from the police and the community that they are pushed into these associations.

Police harassment is a poison that can alienate family members. Gang injunctions divide communities, rather than uniting them toward more positive solutions. They represent overly simplistic thinking.

The police already have the tools it needs to investigate crime and arrest the perpetrators. Targeting a handful of young men for petty offenses, such as curfew violations and loitering, will not stop anyone from robbery or murder.

Funding our schools, increasing employment opportunities for our youth and supporting anti-violence and drug treatment programs will. That is what North Oakland needs.

Carol Strickman