Central Valley
Central Valley
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at]
Monday Feb 16th, 2004 9:59 PM
A new proposal in Fresno calls for an outdoor drunk tank operated by an evangelical Christian group
By Mike Rhodes
February 16, 2004

If you’re found drunk in Fresno you might end up in an outdoor drunk tank run by evangelical Christians. The proposal, being put together by the Fresno Rescue Mission and the Fresno Police Department (FPD), would affect anyone found drunk in a public place. The director of the Fresno Rescue Mission, Larry Arce says the proposal will allow his group to offer “spiritual counseling for addiction.”

When I visited the site for the outdoor drunk tank this afternoon, it seemed like a less than ideal location. True - the razor wire and bare ground was protected from the rain by the freeway overpass. But, the cold of the winter (it gets down to 30 degrees in Fresno this time of year) and the heat of summer (110 degrees!) might not be the perfect environment for sleeping off a hangover.

The proposal, which is being sold to the community as a cost cutting measure, was announced today in The Fresno Bee <> . The Bee reported that FPD police chief Jerry Dyer had “reached out to form a partnership” with the Rescue Mission. The outstanding question about whether this proposal will fly seems to be liability. The City Attorney’s office is researching the issue.

Homeless advocates are saying that this as part of an ongoing attack on this communities homeless population. For background information see: The homeless were prominently mentioned in The Bee article and it was suggested that an outdoor drunk tank would be a solution to the costly proposition of booking them for public intoxication. Booking at the Fresno County jail costs $170 per person and the Bee articles suggests that the City could save up to $372,350 a year if this plan is implemented.

The City of Fresno has made it illegal to be homeless by outlawing sleeping outdoors. They have made it illegal to panhandle by passing an ordinance prohibiting that activity. Now, the City of Fresno is going to make it cheap and easy to enforce laws against drinking beer on the street. Those unlucky enough to be caught drinking a beer in public will soon not only be put in the outdoor drunk tank but will have the added agony of enduring a rant by Rescue Mission staff as they try to convert you to Christianity.

Photos by Mike Rhodes
§View of the East Side of the drunk tank
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at] Monday Feb 16th, 2004 9:59 PM
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walk among the poorwillim whitneyMonday Apr 29th, 2013 2:50 PM
Inhuman conditionsWatch another sick plan unfoldFriday Feb 20th, 2004 7:50 PM
"wishes the liberals would just vanish."oh, pleaseFriday Feb 20th, 2004 10:32 AM
Or George Bush?Jake KaaosFriday Feb 20th, 2004 10:15 AM
Why the Progressive Community Is Considered a JokeFed UpWednesday Feb 18th, 2004 8:54 PM
"one horribly tragic case"Class War Now!!!Wednesday Feb 18th, 2004 8:44 PM
Prominent Street PeopleDanWednesday Feb 18th, 2004 8:26 PM
"They will wind up on the street.'oh yeah?Wednesday Feb 18th, 2004 7:25 PM
If the rich continue with theirsubstance problemsWednesday Feb 18th, 2004 6:30 PM
Rich drunks live indoors.Class War Now!!!Wednesday Feb 18th, 2004 3:43 PM

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