Because criminalizing non-violent youth behavior has proven to be so effective in the past. (See, Drugs, War on).
On the House floor today, Rep. Joe Moody had a perfectly reasonable bill that added people conspiring in prison and jail escapes under the organized crime statute. But the freshman Democrat accepted a "friendly" amendment from Rep. Dwayne Bohac to define graffiti offenses, of all things, as "organized crime" if committed by three or more people in combination.
Bohac said he wants to target criminal street gangs, but as written the amendment would allow prosecution of any three high-school kids who spray paint an underpass as "organized crime," enhancing Class A misdemeanor graffiti offenses to a third degree felony.
I should go sit in on a session of the state legislature sometime, just to witness the insanity for myself. Maybe live blog it. I don't know how much I could stand though.
The Texas State Capitol Building: Where Nothing Bad Has Ever Happened