Response to 9th Circuit Court Decision

April 14, 2006

Los Angeles: While today’s decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals states the City’s ordinance that prohibits people from using the streets of Downtown as their home should not be enforced, the Department will not allow the homeless of skid row to be the victims of violent crime.

The condition of being homeless in and of itself is not a crime and should not be treated as such. But the criminal element that preys upon the homeless and mentally ill will be targeted, arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Enforcement alone will not solve the tremendous problems on skid row. The Department supports a collaborative regional effort involving all stakeholders working in partnership to effect change.

The homeless problem did not occur overnight. It has existed for many years and unfortunately there is no easy fix.

The Department will continue to work with the City’s political leadership and the courts to find solutions to help keep the homeless safe and off the streets.