Criminalization of Homelessness

Arrested Just For Being Homeless

Janet Bell, a resident of Boise, ID, became homeless more than ten years ago, but it was only after she was arrested for sitting outside that she took the city to court.

Janet, who lost part of her left arm, and nearly her life, from an infection that she caught living outside received her first of multiple citations simply for sitting on a riverbank with another individual. Janet, like most homeless people, couldn’t afford to pay the tickets and eventually she was arrested. The city targeted many other homeless individuals in this manner.