Cruz Proposes Federal/State Task Force to Implement Proven Homicide Reduction Program-“Project Exile”

Cruz Proposes Federal/State Talk Force to Implement Proven Homicide Reduction Program-"Project Exile"

Cruz Proposes Federal/State Task Force to Implement Proven Homicide Reduction Program-“Project Exile” (Chicago, IL) Rob Cruz, candidate for Congress in the Sixth District, today calls for the development of an inter agency task force made up from the departments of ATF and the Chicago and Suburban Police, in consultation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to consider the adoption of a proven program to radically reduce homicides. Know by various names, including; Project Exile, Virginia Exile and Face 5. The program has demonstrated up to 50% reductions in homicides in other areas of the country.

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“We do not need to reinvent the wheel on violent crime, there are models that have been proven to work and we need proven solutions now,” said Cruz. “This is an excellent model of Federal and local forces coordinating efforts, without the need for additional budgets or manpower, to target the most violent offenders and achieve real results in the safety of our communities,” he continued.

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“This weekend we have witnessed more violent crimes involving guns. This proven method can supply the remedy for removal of those fire arms and the removal of the perpetrator. Repeat offenders will decline and word we get out that you will be doing federal time for having that gun and that is a great deterrent,” said Cruz.

Other provisions could be implemented to stop the “prison pipeline” like allowing juveniles and first time offenders the opportunity to meet with armed forces recruiters in an effort to end the cycle of destruction we see on our streets today. “My father was in a very similar situation in his youth after committing a crime, the military option of the draft changed the course of his life and I believe there are more young people who could benefit from the same.”

PROJECT EXILE (aka Virginia Exile)

In just three years, it’s helped cut Richmond’s murder rate in half and then half again. Richmond has earned the cautionary bragging rights to a 50 percent drop in homicides.

Program Goal:

To reduce Richmond’s homicide rate by detaining dangerous armed felons prior to trial
and prosecuting them in Federal court.

Project Exile is based on the principle that, if police catch a criminal in Richmond with a gun, the criminal has forfeited his or her right to remain in the community and, as such, will face immediate Federal prosecution and stiff mandatory Federal prison sentences.

Prosecuting unlawful possession and use of firearms and other weapons by (1) convicted felons, (2) people who possess and distribute illegal drugs, (3) people who bring firearms into our schools, (4) people subject to protective orders, and (5) people who file false applications to purchase firearms.

Federal nexus exists and State prison sentences or pretrial detention is insufficient. When a police officer finds a gun while on duty, the officer can page an ATF agent, who is available 24 hours a day. ATF and the Richmond Police, in consultation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, review the circumstances and determine if a Federal statute applies and whether Federal prosecution would provide the most effective incapacitation for the offender.

Any person who possesses a firearm after having previously been convicted of a felony is guilty of a Class 6 felony, which carries a penitentiary sentence of up to five years. A person whose prior felony conviction is a non violent conviction faces between two to five years in prison, two years of which is a mandatory minimum sentence if the prior felony conviction occurred less than ten years ago.

The Project Exile Citizen Support Foundation was formed in July 1997. The Foundation raised more than $40,000 in 1997 and more than $100,000 in financial and in kind contributions in 1998 for advertising and for dissemination of Project Exile’s media message. The message, An illegal gun will get you 5 years in Federal prison asks citizens to report guns to the Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers anonymous telephone number. The media message was advertised on 15 billboards throughout the city, a fully painted city bus (which changes routes daily so that it covers the entire city each week), 15,000 business cards, a series of radio and television promotional spots, traffic reports aired by 24 local radio stations.

The program has since been copied by several other cities, sometimes under other names. In Atlanta, for example, the program was known as FACE 5 (Firearms in Atlanta Can Equal 5 years in federal prison).

Cruz Proposes Federal/State Task Force to Implement Proven Homicide Reduction Program-“Project Exile”

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