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In The Studio: Kern County Might Tackle Homelessness By Issuing Misdemeanor Drug Offenses

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KERN COUNTY HOMELESS COLLABORATIVE FACES OF HOMELESSNESS FACEBOOK PAGE
In this photo from April 2015, tents are seen at the encampment before the City of Bakersfield removed a wall that had screened much of the site from public view.

A statewide survey conducted last month by the Public Policy Institute of California found most Californians see homelessness as a top issue for the state, but how counties are choosing to tackle it differs widely. In Kern County, officials are considering jailing homeless people for misdemeanor drug offenses. To go into effect, the proposal needs funding approval from the Bakersfield City Council. Moderator Kathleen Schock talks with Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Deputy District Attorney Joseph Kinzel, along with Daulton Jones from Faith in the Valley and Jordan Wells from the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Listen to the panel discussion above to hear more about what some say will aggravate the problem of homelessness, and what others see as a solution.