CHICAGO (AP) - A bill that lets local authorities go after street gangs as criminal enterprises is about to become law.
Gov. Pat Quinn will sign the Illinois Street Gang RICO Act on Monday.
The federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act provides stiff penalties for acts performed as part of a criminal organization like the Mafia.
The Illinois law applies the same idea to street gangs and takes effect immediately.
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy support the law. They say the anti-racketeering law will help dismantle gangs and go after leaders instead of treating gang crimes as isolated events.
Opponents argue the law could go too far and leaves potential for abuse by prosecutors.
The bill is HB1907.
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