Criminal Gang Laws in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, more and more children are being targeted for recruitment as part of possible gang initiation. Nationwide, the National Gang Intelligence Center has reported criminal gangs are on the rise. Act 200 was signed into law in October to address the growing number of crimes committed by gang members. This new legislation aims to reduce the number of children being targeted for recruitment in Pennsylvania communities.

Gang activity has been a prevalent problem in the Hazleton area, and with Act 200 now in place, Harrisburg is working hard to stop their spread in the state of Pennsylvania.  Legislation was signed into law in October addressing the growing number of crimes committed by gang members. More than two dozen states already have laws against gang recruitment in effect.

Act 200 ranges from a second degree misdemeanor or a third degree felony with maximum penalties of two to seven years in prison. It establishes penalties for the crimes of soliciting, threatening, or injuring a person to join or remain in a criminal gang.

A few reasons to enact Act 200:

  • This law gives prosecutors and judges a way to combat the threat of criminal gang activity on children and communities.
  • Act 200 directs the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing to enhance penalties for offenses committed in association with a criminal gang. The offenses in question include drug trafficking, crimes of violence, rape and robbery in the interests of criminal gang activity.
  • There has been a 40% increase in gang membership has been attributed to more aggressive recruitment efforts including collaboration with rival gangs and new opportunities for dealing drugs.

This is a guest blog post from our friends at Naftulin & Shick. If you or someone you love has been injured, please seek expert legal advice from Naftulin-Shick Accident Law Firm today at 866-898-8803.

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