An audit of California’s state gang database, CalGang, found 42 individuals in the database who were less than one year old at the time of of entry, 28 of whom are further classified as, “admitting to being gang members,” Voice of San Diego reports. A human baby typically utters its first word at around nine months of age.
It is not yet known whether some or all of these entries might be for adults whose ages were recorded incorrectly.
The findings of the audit, which was requested by the state Legislature and prompted by San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Webster, were published on Thursday.
The audit also found that many parents are not being notified when their children are entered into the database, despite a 2013 law requiring they do so.
The audit affirms that some people remain in the database long after they should have been removed and that many are entered into the database without a substantial reason, according to VOSD.
Weber was not surprised by the finding, telling VOSD, “I’ve heard these complaints for years. As most folks know, my own son was threatened to be put on the gang list, and he hand’t done anything. I hear these things from parents on a regular basis. But I think some of my colleagues were shocked.”
According to its website, CalGang is a “State of California funded, Local Law Enforcement maintained and controlled Criminal Intelligence System that targets specifically Members and Criminal Associates of Criminal Street Gangs.” (Emphasis mine.)
On Friday, a bill written by Weber that would expand public scrutiny of the database advanced in the state Assembly, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.
A CJR investigation published in March found that children as young as 9 are among the 150,000 people in the database, and that 85% of those in the database are black or Latino.
Furthermore, most people do not know whether they are in the database, nor do they have the right to find out. According to CJR, “The database’s operating guidelines require…secrecy and instruct law enforcement officials to say that they are advised against including references to the database in public reports, court documents or public testimony.”