Young, Homeless, and Criminalized
Date:  08-26-2019

Just trying to survive should not be a reason to get arrested
From Juvenile Justice Information Exchange:

Youth homelessness is a tragedy, not a crime. But in cities across the country, homeless youth face civil and even criminal penalties for unavoidable human activities like standing, sitting and sleeping in the very streets where they’re trying to survive.

“I always worried, ‘Is today the day the cops are going to get me? Is today the day that someone’s going to take what little I have?’” This is how Zak Franet, a government relations and public affairs professional, describes his struggle with homelessness at 22 years old.

There are well-documented connections between youth homelessness and law enforcement, including quality-of-life enforcement. At Larkin Street Youth Services — San Francisco’s largest provider of youth-specific housing and services — one in four young people reports a history of arrests, starting on average at age 17. This reflects the situation citywide, where one in three homeless youth report some adverse encounter with the justice system before turning 18. In a California statewide survey, three out of four homeless youth reported frequent negative police interactions. More than half had been ticketed for a quality-of-life offense. Continue reading >>>