Monday, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and District Attorney Devon Anderson jointly moved to dismiss the Southlawn Gang Injunction lawsuit. During settlement negotiations several proposals were brought forward calling for the development of programs to assist gang members who desire to become law-abiding citizens. The lawsuit is being dismissed to allow time to develop and implement programs that create job-training and educational opportunities. Both Ryan and Anderson believe these programs can be effective.
There have been numerous meetings among various stakeholders and community members during the pendency of the lawsuit regarding the gang problems in the area and potential solutions. Ryan and Anderson listened to the community and these meetings produced useful dialogue as well as a number of alternative approaches.
“We are glad to serve as catalysts to initiate these innovative social services programs in this community,” said Ryan.
“The District Attorney’s Office will continue to utilize all effective means of addressing and disrupting illegal gang activity through the aggressive criminal prosecution of gang crimes,” said Anderson. “We remain committed to being involved in this and working with the community.”
“If these programs can help gang members turn their lives around and become law-abiding citizens, thereby helping to protect the community, then we have accomplished what we set out to do—make Southlawn community safer,” said Ryan. “Our guiding concern has been and continues to be the safety and well-being of Southlawn residents and business owners.”
The lawsuit is being dismissed “without prejudice”, meaning it can be refiled in the future.