California’s New Vagrancy Laws: The Growing Enactment and Enforcement of Anti-Homeless Laws in the Golden State

Creator

Policy Advocacy Clinic, Berkeley School of Law, University of California Berkely

Date

2016

Type

Research Report

Description

Appendix has a list of the anti-vagrancy and other laws/ordinances against homeless people for some OC Cities. The Policy Advocacy Clinic prepared this 2016 update for the Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP). WRAP is a non-profit organization that was created to expose and eliminate the root causes of civil and human rights abuses of people experiencing poverty and homelessness. WRAP seeks to develop socially just solutions to all the barriers that prevent the ending of homelessness. ... This report updates the 2015 study on the enactment and enforcement of anti-homeless laws in California with new ordinance data from cities and updated arrest data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. We find that California cities are enacting and enforcing anti-homeless laws in record numbers. In contrast with historical post-recession trends, arrests of people who are homeless continue to rise in spite of an improving economy. Further, cities appear to be arresting people increasingly based on their homeless status as opposed to any concrete unlawful behavior.

Subject

Homelessness
Homeless persons

Coverage

California -- United States of America

Relation

Recent Stories of Criminalization of Homeless Persons in the OC include:

Note: Criminalization of homelessness has been going on for a while in the OC - see for example, this 2012 article by Amber Stephens in the Daily Titan, Cal State Fullerton student newspaper - https://dailytitan.com/2012/04/whats-left-criminalizing-societys-homeless/ - but the stories listed below are only 2018 onwards. Generally, homeless people are criminalized by anti-vagrancy and anti-camping municipal ordinances, but recently cities in the OC have also added laws that make it unlawful to give food to homeless people.  To learn more about how people are criminalized, you can read Sarma and Brand (2018) https://theappeal.org/the-criminalization-of-homelessness-an-explainer-aa074d25688d/ and watch Prof. Jacob Avery's Vicious Circle video (15 mins long, 2019) to understand how homelessness and homeless people are criminalized - https://youtu.be/nqqcyjKeiz8?t=759

Jan. 25, 2018.  Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil.  Anti-homeless laws crop up in Santa Ana in Line with a Statewide Trend, California Health Report. Available online:  http://www.calhealthreport.org/2018/01/25/anti-homeless-laws-crop-santa-ana-line-statewide-trend/
Last accessed: May 13, 2019.

April 3, 2018.  Spencer Custodio.  Moving started for Santa Ana's Civic Center Homeless, Voice of OC. Available online: https://voiceofoc.org/2018/04/moving-started-for-santa-ana-civic-centers-homeless/
Last accessed: May 13, 2019.

Sept. 5, 2018.  Norberto Santa Ana, Jr. OC Lack of Progress on Homelessness is Tragic. Could it Soon be Illegal? Available online:
https://voiceofoc.org/2018/09/santana-oc-lack-of-progress-on-homelessness-is-tragic-could-it-soon-be-illegal/
Last accessed: May 13, 2019.

Files

NVL-Update-2016_Final.pdf

Citation

Policy Advocacy Clinic, Berkeley School of Law, University of California Berkely , “California’s New Vagrancy Laws: The Growing Enactment and Enforcement of Anti-Homeless Laws in the Golden State,” I4E: Housing4All Digital Library, accessed November 12, 2019, https://i4e.omeka.net/items/show/63.

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