Los Angeles city and school officials have launched a campaign against violence around 10 campuses by expanding the penalties for crimes committed near the schools, reports the Los Angeles Times. Officials unveiled the Safe School Zone program yesterday. They said offenders would face extra jail time and additional fines for committing crimes around schools.
The safe zones lie within 1,000 feet of the campuses and 100 feet of designated bus stops. The new measures apply during school hours as well as before and after school activities. New black-and-white signs declaring the safe zones are being posted. Officials chose the schools because of high crime rates in the neighborhoods around them. Officials plan to expand the effort to all of L.A. Unified’s 900 school campuses. First-time offenders would face up to six months of jail and a fine of up to $500. Subsequent offenses could include mandatory jail time. Students and administrators said they hoped the new signs would serve as a deterrent.