CSUC Study on Sit-Lie Ordinance

A local case study is out on Chico's Sit-Lie Ordinance and who it impacts. The study released by Chico State faculty found arrests of homeless people increased significantly after the 2013 Sit-Lie Ordinance was passed.

Posted: Sep. 11, 2018 6:18 PM
Updated: Sep. 12, 2018 11:35 AM

CHICO, Calif. - A local study is out on Chico's sit-lie ordinance and who it impacts. The study released by Chico State faculty found arrests of homeless people increased significantly after the 2013 sit-lie ordinance was passed.

The hotly-contested sit-lie ordinance passed in 2013 and expired in 2016. It restricted individuals from sitting or lying on public sidewalks, curbs or streets adjacent to commercial properties.

The sit-lie ordinance expired in January 2016. Chico Police presented a proposal earlier this month to reinstate the ordinance at a Chico city council meeting.

The study uses data from the Chico police department from January 2010 to June 2016.

The faculty argues the ordinance was the city council's way of showing it wanted the homeless to be policed.

"I would argue that homeless people are disproportionately affected by this type of law because they don't have an alternative place to sit-lie or store their property. So it's likely it's having a higher impact on our homeless population," said Jennifer Wilking, Associate Professor of Political Science at CSUC.

On Sept. 4, the city council voted to have the city attorney re-draft the ordinance. The attorney will also examine the 9th circuit court of appeal's decision that it was unconstitutional to ban people from sleeping outside if there was no shelter nearby.

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