This post begins our new blog series, Countering Criminalization. Over the next several weeks, we will discuss the criminalization of homelessness from two perspectives. - See more at: http://homelessnesslaw.org/2014/04/countering-criminalization-constitutional-challenges-and-constructive-alternatives-to-ineffective-expensive-and-illegal-public-policies/#sthash.kwCUiyIP.dpuf
Once you have been deemed a criminal, you can pretty much kiss your remaining assets goodbye. Not only will you face the aforementioned court costs, but you’ll have a hard time ever finding a job again once you’ve acquired a criminal record. And then of course, the poorer you become, the more likely you are to get in fresh trouble with the law, making this less like a “cycle” and more like the waterslide to hell.
Miami Considers Jailing Homeless People For Eating, Sleeping In Public "As though life weren’t already difficult enough for people who can’t afford regular housing, they could soon find themselves thrown in jail and their possessions confiscated if they’re caught engaging in certain everyday activities in public." 7/16/13
Laws allowing police to ticket and arrest homeless people for sleeping in a car, sitting on the sidewalk — or even leaving their bags on the sidewalk while they use a bathroom — are part of a larger strategy to criminalize homelessness and by extension, poverty, according to attorneys and advocates for homeless people at a conference at the UC Irvine School of Law. 4/1/13
A formerly homeless man is challenging the constitutionality of three City of Vancouver bylaws that prohibit sleeping on streets or in parks and erecting a shelter on city property. Clarence Taylor, 57, says the bylaws violate his right to life, liberty and security of person. 11/21/12
Homeless complaints prompt ‘no camping’ rule in Huntington Beach
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Complaints about some homeless people setting up makeshift shelters and leaving belongings on beaches, in parks and at City Hall have prompted a rule against camping in public areas. 11/6/12
City of Berkeley Seeks to Criminalize Homelessness Yet here in Berkeley, California, one of the country’s most famously liberal cities, business leaders aim to fine homeless people 75 for sitting on the sidewalk in commercial strips. 11/1/12
Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson and other council members are calling on city leadership to develop a more aggressive position to curb increasing reports of misconduct among the homeless downtown. 11/2/12 Instead of creating opportunity, Savannah may criminalize activities.