HARRISBURG, October 16, 2012 – - State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon/Monroe) today urged Gov. Tom Corbett to promptly sign anti-gang legislation that includes his amendment to toughen penalties for those who prey on children by forcibly recruiting juveniles under the age of 16 to join a gang.
“The increase of gangs in Northeastern Pennsylvania and across the state is incredibly troubling and the provisions in this bill will give law enforcement more tools in the fight to quell dangerous gang influence,” Yudichak said.
House Bill 1121, which unanimously passed the House earlier today, would increase sentences for crimes committed in support or promotion of gang activity and make gang recruitment a crime. Yudichak’s amendment would also broaden enforcement tools by treating gang recruitment by jailed gang members with the full force of the law.
Yudichak thanked his fellow legislators from Northeast Pennsylvania, Senators John Blake and Lisa Baker and state Reps. Sid Kavulich and Tarah Toohil, as well as the Senate Republican leadership of Senators Dominic Pileggi, John Rafferty, Ted Erickson and John Gordner for getting this important legislation to the finish line.
Along with U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, Yudichak has spearheaded ‘Operation Gang Up’ – a series of educational seminars featuring law enforcement and local government officials designed to educate the public on increasing gang activity in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Yudichak said that the conversations at Operation Gang Up events signified a need for legislation to specifically target criminal gang activity.
House Bill 1121 will become law 60 days after the bill is signed by the governor.
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