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Where Enforcement of Jaywalking Equals Criminalization of Homelessness

Records in Salt Lake City show that police in Salt Lake City concentrate jaywalking enforcement in the corner of the city that houses most of the city's homeless services.
December 2, 2019, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Bethany Rodgers, Taylor Stevens, and Paighten Harkins report: "Nearly two out of every three jaywalking tickets Salt Lake City police issued in recent years have been handed out within roughly a block of Pioneer Park and the now-closed downtown emergency shelter — the hub of homeless services, a Salt Lake Tribune analysis has found."

More on the methodology and the implications of the analysis follows:

The Tribune’s findings, based on a review of more than 500 jaywalking tickets issued by city police in a four-year period through August, can’t be explained by heavy foot traffic alone, with only a smattering of tickets written in other busy parts of the city. Nor is the ticket pattern completely in line with state crash data, since enforcement was much lighter along some of the city’s most dangerous roads for pedestrians.

The findings of the analysis lend evidence to claims, frequently made by homeless advocacy groups, about the numerous ways that homelessness can be criminalized. The feature length article offers numerous anecdotes to provide specific, real-life examples of the dynamics exposed by the analysis.

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, December 1, 2019 in The Salt Lake City Tribune
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