SALT LAKE CITY

Citations against people experiencing homelessness ‘not effective’ according to ACLU report

Sep 23, 2022, 10:29 AM | Updated: 10:51 am

A new report from ACLU criticizes police in Salt Lake City for their handling of people experiencin...

A new report from ACLU criticizes police in Salt Lake City for their handling of people experiencing homelessness (Scott Winterton, Deseret News).

(Scott Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new report from ACLU criticizes police in Salt Lake City for their handling of people experiencing homelessness. Salt Lake City’s Mayor’s office says they agree that there are things to fix.

The report from the ACLU said that citing the homeless for camping in Salt Lake City is not effective in helping the city’s unsheltered population. Also, it found that a high number of citations get issued for camping in Salt Lake and other cities in Salt Lake County. The report further says that policy changes directly correlate with spikes in anti-camping citations. 

“Criminal and civil citations do nothing to end the unavoidable consequences of being unsheltered and often place civil liberties in jeopardy. It is better to spend time and money addressing the underlying causes of homelessness and housing insecurity,” says the ACLU report.

The ACLU report suggests outreach efforts could better use time and resources. Also, the report suggests re-thinking how law enforcement interacts with the homeless. 

Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s office says they value the work of the ACLU and agree that there are steps at the city, county, and state levels to improve interactions with the unsheltered.

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Citations against people experiencing homelessness ‘not effective’ according to ACLU report