Monday, August 15, 2016

Gangster babies: California CalGang® database slammed

The CalGang® system is a State of California funded, law enforcement maintained and controlled 'criminal intelligence system' that targets "Members and Criminal Associates of Criminal Street Gangs".

CalGang was supposed to only be accessed by law enforcement, and used to add people to gang injunctions, court sentencing, and used to disqualify families from living in public housing.

A new audit of the program, however, finds that problems run deep; it found that some in law enforcement appeared to be worried about gangster babies.
The audit found 42 individuals in CalGang® whose birthdates indicated that they were less than one year old at the time their information was entered, 28 of whom were entered into the system in part because they admitted to being gang members.

While scientists generally agree most babies utter their first coherent words around 12 months old, the state agency apparently felt those words were "I'm a gangsta, pig".
It was reported that in 2015, nearly 15,000 names were added to the system while over 33,000 were removed. The database is disproportionately minority with 64.9 percent Latino and 20.5 percent black. Other problems included adding individuals without evidence; difficulty in purging individuals; the illegal use of the database as an employment screening tool, and misuse entering juveniles.