Tampa, Florida: Homeless People Thrown in Jail For…Sleeping?

Moorbey'z Blog

Mass incarceration: the answer to all our problems.

In a curious interpretation of how “rights” work, the city of Tampa, Florida can now throw homeless people in jail for sleeping in public.

Last week, the city council passed two ordinances that ban panhandling in much of the city and allow police to arrest people for sleeping or storing their stuff in public spaces. Courts have previously ruled that public behaviors people must engage in to stay alive, like sleeping and eating, cannot be banned without ensuring the resources that provide them with alternatives, but the council did not increase funding for shelters or transitional housing, as Think Progress points out.

Tampa has very high rates of homelessness for a midsize city, and inadequate resources for handling it. Shelters are closed during theday, forcing occupants to leave and lug their belongings around. Homeless shelters have waiting lists…

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