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Hazleton, PA 18201
Phone: (570) 453-1344
Fax: (570) 459-3946
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Harrisburg, PA 17120-2116
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Toohil Votes to Target Gang Activity
5/4/2011

The House of Representatives today passed House Bill 1121, legislation to address crimes and sentences for individuals convicted of offenses related to street gang activity, Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) said today. 

Toohil said the legislation, of which she is a co-sponsor, targets gang members who commit violent crimes and provides for sentences which appropriately reflect the seriousness of their crimes. 

“Gang activity has become a major problem in our communities,” said Toohil.  “Hazleton was identified in a national report as being known for gangs and drug trafficking organizations.  It was very disheartening to see that our city was actually listed by name in this report.  Drug and gang related crimes were reported to be increasing in Hazleton even though overall violent crime in eastern Pennsylvania is down. 

“I have heard from residents and local officials who are concerned for their safety.  The legislation we passed today will help communities crack down on gangs by creating a section of the Crimes Code specifically related to gang activity and enhancing sentences for convictions under that section.” 

Toohil noted that in addition to making communities unsafe for law-abiding citizens, gang activity is also making it more difficult for communities to recover from the economic recession and create jobs. 

“This legislation is not just about fighting crime.  It is about jobs and economic development,” Toohil said.  “If a community is plagued by gangs, people will not want to go there.  As a result, businesses will not open and create jobs there.  By getting tough on gangs, we are making our communities safer and creating an environment which will encourage new businesses to open and create jobs.” 

House Bill 1121 now goes to the Senate for consideration. 

State Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Rep. Toohil’s Office 
717.260.6136
RepToohil.com
Facebook.com/RepToohil

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