Known as perhaps the most corrupt city in the world, the City of Las Vegas (which doesn’t control most of the Las Vegas Strip, where Casinos are) has has passed a controversial law that puts homeless people in prison for as much as 6 months, for doing nothing except sleeping on the street.
The ordinance — the latest in a series of measures by US cities to grapple with rising vagrancy — comes into force Sunday, but its criminal provisions will not be applied until February.
According to the latest census, 5,500 people sleep on the streets of southern Nevada each night. Only 2,000 beds are available through municipal services and charities — meaning that there is no way they have a choice
Opponents of the law focused their anger on Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who is known as being a less than sympathic person, before and during the vote late Wednesday.
Former mayor Oscar Goodman, the husband of the current mayor, once even proposed shipping homeless people to proposed concentration camps outside the city only a few years ago.
Demonstrators outside City Hall chanted “Housing, not handcuffs” and held signs proclaiming “Poverty is not a crime,” local media reported.
It has been backed by Las Vegas’s Chamber of Commerce, which represents big businesses.
The measure has drawn criticism from beyond Las Vegas, including from several Democratic presidential candidates.