State's Attorney James W. Glasgow's efforts to eradicate gangs from Will County centers on the Gang Prosecution Unit of the Will County State's Attorney's Office. The Unit specializes in prosecuting violent gang crime and emphasizes vertical prosecution. It is respected as one of the most aggressive and successful in the nation and was profiled on ABC World News Tonight, with the late Peter Jennings.
Upon implementation of an unprecedented aggressive gang prosecution policy to work in concert with the excellent police agencies across the county, the results were dramatic. This included using the grand jury as a prosecuting tool by bringing in reluctant witnesses to preserve their statements and forcing gang members to recant false statements made to police.
After gang-related shootings in Joliet escalated from 128 in 1991 to 227 in 1992, and 297 in 1993, a gang sweep was carried out which resulted in 46 hardcore and high level Will County gang members being arrested and convicted reducing gang-related shootings by 50%.
The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office published a booklet referred to as the “primary primer on gangs” by the Chicago Tribune. The publication is currently in the process of being updated and is a compilation of research and articles that explain and expose the intricacies of gang affiliation. It instructs citizens on all aspects of fighting gangs and the patterns of gang growth in a community and will be available to schools, parents, churches and employers in Will County. Related information is available by clicking on the Gang Prevention link in this text or under the menu item Crime Prevention.