N.J. moves to expand initiatives against gangs

New Jersey lawmakers are considering expanding an anti-gang program.

Assemblyman Joe Cryan wants to expand Union County’s program statewide.

It gives judges the option of ordering delinquent teenagers with a history of gang involvement to participate in violence-prevention programs instead of getting a jail sentence.

“The whole idea is to get another path, an alternative path, and it’s not to be soft on crime. It’s actually to prevent crime. We’ve all seen the impact of these gangs, and what they mean in terms of criminal activity in our state,” said Cryan, D-Union. “So if we can get to somebody early, we can help.”

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What would be known as “Christopher’s Law” is named in memory of 27-year-old Christopher Booker who died in 2000 he was tortured by fellow gang members in Newark.

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