Many of these statutes were based on “bawdy laws” that had remained unused for decades and never enforced to combat illicit alcohol or drug sales, as their original intention was mostly to interrupt the sex trade (on the streets and in the brothels). Property owners must exercise ordinary care in protecting residents and visitors from the risk of harm stemming from crimes on the premises (Ruskell, 2000). Printed from Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Criminology and Criminal Justice. To be liable for public nuisance, the defendant must have interfered with public property, or with a right common to the public. Nuisance Law. Employing a retrospective, quasi-experimental design in a variety of sites across Los Angeles County, the study compared before and after data that were collected within and between injunction and comparison areas; the latter were selected to match gang-injunction sites in terms of levels of gang activity, proximity to targeted gang territories, and comparability of targeted and nontargeted sites on environmental characteristics. A process evaluation of gang abatement programs in California explored the participation of community organizations and other types of resident involvement in the creation and implementation of neighborhood antigang strategies. The underlying rationale of the Gang Loitering Ordinance postulates that loitering helps gang members secure territory in order to promote their gang identity and illicit businesses (e.g., drug sales). However, to reverse the long-term spiral of decay in impoverished neighborhoods, which is associated with illicit drug sales and gang activities, the economic and social conditions (i.e., the root causes) within those communities must be fundamentally changed. The courts have also upheld antiloitering statutes prohibiting other disorderly activities (Linwood v. Board of Education, 1972). A person is guilty of criminal nuisance in the second degree when: 1. Willfully Refuse to Carry Out a Legal Duty to Remove a Public Nuisance, A Health Officer or the District Attorney, That They Must Discontinue or Remove a Public Nuisance, Maintains, Allows, or Permits a Public Nuisance on Their Property OR, Leases or Occupies the Property of Someone That Permits, Allows, or Maintains a Public Nuisance OR, Willfully Refuses to Carry Out Legal Duties to Remove a Public Nuisance. Research on both types of programs (gangs and drugs) is not only scanty and outdated but also consists of mostly lower-level research designs (pre- or quasi-experimental rather than randomized field experiments) and flawed measures. Law enforcement officers and criminal court judges can consider even inherently noncriminal activities as public nuisances and target these activities for abatement actions. Public nuisances were initially defined as offenses against “the crown.” The first public nuisance statute was enacted in the 12th year of Richard II’s reign in England. The ABA investigation found that, overall, residents perceived abatement efforts as effective in reducing drug sales, crime, and disorderly behaviors (e.g., public drinking) (Smith et al., 1992). Hence, by curtailing their ability to occupy public lands, gang members lose their control over neighborhoods, which reduces their power and sphere of criminal influence (Gang Congregation Ordinance, 1992). 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