The Kentucky House overwhelmingly approved anti-gang legislation today which that to go after gang recruiters. The measure, backed by a 91-3 vote would make gang recruitment a felony crime. During floor debate the cost for additional prosecution and incarceration was estimated at $38 million.
Lexington Representative Robert Benvenuti said cost of caring for hundreds of shooting victims runs hundreds of millions of dollars.
“What kind of a price tag should we put on the young men and women who are being slaughtered in our streets,” he said.
Louisville Representative Reggie Meeks did not vote. Although backing some of the provisions, Meeks worries cracking down on gang recruiters 18 and older will result in a higher number of younger recruiters.
“I’m just concerned here that we will be pushing individuals to get those younger kids under 18 to be the recruiters.”
The bill now heads to the Senate for its consideration.