Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the Illinois Street Gang RICO Act. RICO, which stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, provides stiff penalties for offenders. Law enforcement officials say they hope the law will help dismantle gangs by giving them the power to after the leaders.
Opponents of the measure say it could lead to abuse of power by prosecutors. The law goes into effect immediately. "We don't want street gangs disrupting our neighborhoods" Quinn said during a press conference. "We want to work with our policemen to go after and exterminate these gangs."
"Before gang leaders would have younger members commit crimes to insulate them, RICO Acts takes away that insulation" says Winn. Co. State's Attorney Joe Bruscato (D). Police say Chicago has the biggest gang problem in the country with over 100,000 members.