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How to Combat Gang Violence in 2013

Santa Barbara- The South Coast Task Force on Youth Gangs unveiled their annual report Thursday. Various sectors of the community attended the quarterly meeting to discuss plans for the coming year to decrease youth violence. Their main focus is tackling gang violence by keeping our young out of jails.Santa Barbara City Councilwoman, Cathy Murillo was in attendance. She says she came out to get an update on what’s being done, and she’s a strong supporter of the process. She adds that’s important to get to the root of why our young are in gangs, in order to get them out. Santa Barbara Deputy District Attorney, David Chen, shared the latest on the truancy program called CLASS. Chen adds says they’re starting a 5 step program, which starts with a letter that goes out to the families of students who have 3 unexcused absences, signaling to parents and guardians that there may be an issue. The letter is then followed by after school interventions, one on one meetings with school administrators and even the DA’s office. Ultimately, they want to know what’s causing the student to skip class. Given tight budgetary constraints, other goals for 2013 include establishing a Service Provider Group that focuses on sharing resources. KEY News Reporter Shirin Rajaee reports.

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