California and Los Angeles officials have promised a new attack on the persistent problems of Los Angeles’ skid row, says the Los Angeles Times. It will begin with a crackdown on rampant drug dealing, which police say generates roughly one-fifth of the city’s drug arrests. The Los Angeles Police Department plans to install video surveillance cameras on skid-row streets and increase the number of undercover detectives and uniformed patrol officers.
Two legislators are pushing a plan that would require law enforcement agencies to return inmates released from county jails to the communities where they were arrested. The idea is to reduce the number of inmates who end up on skid row after being released from jail. State Sen. Gil Cedillo, who had worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, said he had reluctantly come to the conclusion that tougher penalties were needed. “That is a long journey for someone like myself,” he said. He added that no alternative will work for skid row, where drugs are dealt and consumed just outside the doors to treatment centers.