LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles City Council today agreed to end a lengthy court battle by approving a settlement under which non-profits will offer job training, as well as vocational and apprenticeship programs, to help Angelenos subject to certain gang injunctions gain employment. The settlement of the class action suit, Rodriguez v. City of Los Angeles, ends five years of litigation over the City’s gang injunctions—many of which date back to the 1990s.
“This settlement creates an innovative pathway for individuals served with gang injunctions to gain the job skills they need to turn their lives around,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. “It provides a positive approach with the potential to reduce gang violence and improve public safety.”
“I'm proud that we reached a constructive resolution of this case that focuses on gang prevention and intervention efforts,” said Los Angeles City Council member Paul Krekorian. “The goal is to get people off the streets by providing the training they need to become productive members of society.”
“Unconstitutional gang injunction curfews forced several thousand black and brown residents of Los Angeles indoors on a nightly basis,” said Olu K. Orange, Esq., attorney for the plaintiffs along with the law firms of Hadsell, Stormer & Renick and Public Counsel. “These individuals are part of the Los Angeles community and this settlement is a step by City leaders toward showing them that their lives do matter.”
Under the settlement, the City will contribute at least $1.125 million annually to the programs over a four-year period, with a cap of $7.5 million per year. The payments will be made to various non-profit service providers. Those service providers will offer a broad range of training and counseling opportunities focused on life-skills, job readiness, and linking trainees with apprenticeships and employment opportunities, as well as offering tattoo removal.
The settlement also includes clear, practical reforms to the City’s gang injunction process, including alerting injunction subjects to: 1) programs to help active gang members leave gang life. 2) unconstitutional injunction provisions the City will not enforce; and 3) a process by which to be removed from the injunction.
In Rodriguez, which was filed on February 7, 2011, the U.S. District Court found the City had violated the due process rights of gang members who were subject to gang injunctions containing an unconstitutionally vague curfew provision.
The settlement now awaits Court approval.