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Public Policy and Administration


Gregory Koehle


Civil gang injunctions (CGIs) are bans on nuisance behavior that have been enacted against gang members. Numerous studies conducted on the efficacy of CGIs have proven that they have little to no long-term effects on the communities in which they are implemented, nor on the gang members enjoined under them and their gang activities. The purpose of this empirical, phenomenological interpretative analysis study was to (a) determine the sociofamilial effects of CGIs on community residents; (b) determine the effects of CGIs on the behaviors and activities of enjoined gang members; and (c) determine the overall efficacy of CGIs based on the perspectives of community residents and enjoined gang members, with the goal of creating avenues to improve CGIs or eliminate them, if necessary. The theoretical framework for this study was Berger and Luckmann's social construction theory. A total of 7 anonymous phone interviews were conducted with community residents, enjoined gang members, and local law enforcement living and/or working in the enjoined neighborhood during the implementation of the first gang injunction in Memphis, TN. Data from these interviews were coded for thematic analysis and constant comparison. The findings were mixed in that some participants expressed that the injunction had positive results for a while and others expressed that it had a negative effect on the community. It was found that the injunction was positively effective, but only on a short-term basis, and that consistent introduction of community resources to address underlying issues that lead to crime would have been a better solution.

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