Homeless advocates in Alabama are disgusted that panhandling and loitering on the streets are now crimes
On state highways and public roads, panhandling and loitering are now prohibited by an Alabama law.
As per a WSFA article, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey approved a bill that renders panhandling and loitering on public property a class C crime. Supporters of the legislation claim it will increase public safety.
Advocates for the state’s homeless community raised concerns about the bill, fearing that it would criminalize homelessness, but it was still passed into law. Supporters emphasized that police officials would have options as to when to make an indictment.
State Rep. Reed Ingram, a Republican from the Montgomery region, stated of the proposal: “The cops may request them to get out and if they’re unwilling to depart, it’s a law similar to your seatbelt law currently.”
First-time offenders may be charged with a criminal offense, but repeat offenders may face penalties or perhaps months in jail.