Pittsburgh Police and federal authorities have begun holding face to face meetings with members of violent groups in the city in an effort to reduce the number of homicides and youth crime. The police bureau has identified 37 violent groups with more than 1,400 members as part of the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime (PIRC). Police Chief Nate Harper says the 55 offenders who were brought in for the first "call-in" session have influence within their groups.
Under the PIRC structure, the next time a crime occurs by a member of a group all members will be held accountable. When it comes to a homicide, there will be no plea bargains; the hardest arm of the law will be delivered. Then, group offenders will be brought back in for another call-in to reinforce the PIRC message.
Acting U.S. Attorney Robert Cessar told the 55 that future violent offenses would be prosecuted under federal racketeering and conspiracy laws...
“Seeing photos of their former peers, who are now serving life sentences in federal prisons around the country, really seemed to send a message. These offenders seemed surprised to learn that being charged with a federal offense often means pre-trial detention and, if convicted, a mandatory minimum sentence that is served in a federal prison far away from family and friends.”
Listen to a report by WDUQ's Kevin Gavin