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New Law Makes Recruiting Gang Members Illegal

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By David Madden

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Governor Tom Corbett has signed into law a measure that makes it illegal to recruit someone to join a gang in Pennsylvania.

Chester County DA Tom Hogan pushed for the legislation after two gang members were killed in a fight in New Garden Township last year. The punishment for recruiting gang members can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the level of coercion used to get a kid to join.

“When they come in and go after juveniles and try to make them gang members, we can prosecute. When they make the juveniles go out and do the dirty work for the gangs, we can prosecute the people that made the juveniles do that,” Hogan explains.

The law is also expected to curb the spread of gang activity. It’s timed to go in to effect, ironically, on Christmas Day.

“So Merry Christmas to all the gang members. We’re coming after you,” says Hogan.

Although the real gift here might be saving a few young lives.