District Attorney General Neal Pinkston believes hard core gang members who commit violent crimes should be punished to the full extent of the law.
General Pinkston also believes it is impossible to police our way out of the problem. Enforcing the law is reactive. It doesn't get to the heart of why kids join gangs, which is a complex problem deeply rooted in numerous societal issues.
In fact, research overwhelmingly shows cities and counties that make extensive use of social services (mentoring, after-school activities, and job training) make huge dents in gang violence. Those areas relying primarily on law enforcement to police the problem have far less success.
That's why District Attorney General Neal Pinkston created BULLSEYE. It may seem like a complicated acronym but attention to prevention is the best way to address a complicated problem.
BULLSEYE calls on everyone in our community to:
with a focus on:
Early Youth Engagement.
Using the Comprehensive Gang Assessment conducted by the former Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies and UTC's Center for Applied Social Research, the no defunct Chattanooga Gang Task Force, created under former mayor Ron Littlefield, crafted a plan following the U.S. government's national best practices template for addressing gang issues. That template, the Comprehensive Gang Model, was created by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Shortly after the Chattanooga Comprehensive Gang Reduction Model was drafted, incoming Chattanooga mayor Andy Berke disbanded the city's gang task force and chose not to implement the plan.
The Hamilton County DA's Office hopes to implement the plan to streamline social services for those who are at risk of falling to gang pressures.