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Long Beach City Hall "Justice Lab" Data Indicated By Early Last Year That At Least 47% (And Perhaps More) Of LBPD Arrests/Citations 2012-2016 Of "High Frequency Offenders" Involved Transients is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Jan. 30, 2019, 10:45 a.m.) -- has learned that Long Beach City Hall's Innovation Team, operating out of the offices of the Mayor and City Manager, was given access to five years of LBPD arrest and citation data (not routinely available to the public or the press) and by early 2018 had found, based on addresses indicated in arrest/citation data, that 47% of LB's "high frequency offenders" were transient.

The information was included in a case study by the City Hall i-team's "Justice Lab." a project intended to reduce the number of repeat offenders and other persons interacting with the criminal justice system, and was displayed in a PPT presentation delivered at an east coast university nearly a year ago.

The PPT presentation by Innovation Team Deputy Director Alma Castro at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in February 2018 was found on an M.I.T. webpage at this link. It reflects data from LBPD arrests and citations from Jan.2012 through December 2016 (five total years) and indicates:

  • Of 101,408 offenses analyzed, 53,592 were committed by offenders of whom 14,942 (62%) were repeat offenders and 875 (8%) were deemed "high frequency offenders" (with 11-23 offenses each.)

  • The top ten offenses were: possession of an open container, public consumption, park/beach loitering/no camping, failure to appear after written promise to appear, drunk/alcohol, possession of unlawful paraphernalia/controlled substance, violation of parole and littering.

  • High frequency offenders were responsible for 12% of violent offenses but 85% of all high frequency offenses were misdemeanors.

  • The addresses of the high frequency offenders indicate that 47% were "transient."

[Scroll down for further.]

  • Among the remainder: 41% indicated a street address [which may or may not reflect the person's actual status]; 8% listed the address of a service provider [common among homeless persons, details below], 3% listed a hotel/motel/PO Box/Intersection, with 1% other.

  • Among those listing a "service provider" address, the largest number (34) listed the Mental Health America (MHA) Village (400 block Elm Ave.) while the remainder (39) listed service providers including Safe Refuge, LB's Multi-Services Center, Dept. of Public Social Services, the LB Rescue Mission, Catholic Charities and Cabrillo Village. Based on these service locations, believes it's a fair inference that more than a few of LB's high frequency offenders who listed a service provider address were transient/homeless. If so, it would likely mean over half of high frequency offenders cited/arrested by LBPD between 2012-2016 were transient.



LBPD's Public Information Office has separately told that LBPD officers don't consistently include in their citations/arrest reports whether an individual is transient or homeless. (Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.) The "transient" aspect of the data displayed on the PPT slides is a product of the Justice Lab's i-team, not LBPD. [Because field officers don't consistently enter on citation/arrest records whether a person was homeless/transient, believes the percentage of high frequency offenders identified as transient by the Justice Lab may under-estimate to some extent the level of such individuals encountered by LBPD.]


Six of the 14 PPT slides don't cite data but instead described the Justice Lab's approach, including "building empathy" through a "portfolio" approach that advocates focusing on individuals and not merely data. The 14 PPT slides from the LB i-team's Feb. 2018 MIT presentation can be viewed below.

On December 10, 2018, NBC4 Los Angeles reporter Eric Leonard reported that L.A.P.D. data indicated that [NBC4 text] "The number of crimes in which homeless individuals were listed as suspects increased by nearly 50 percent in the city of LA in 2018. LAPD officials said most concerning were the disproportionate number of homeless individuals listed as suspects in physical attacks." (Full NBC4 report here.) Mr. Leonard's NBC4 report noted that "The descriptions of perpetrators in the reports as homeless are not conclusive..." In similar fashion, believes LBPD citations/arrests indicating a person is transient or homeless may not be conclusive, but we presume a sworn officer's field observation and notation is indicative of what he/she encounters.



In Jan. 2018, the City of Long Beach issued a press release announcing that its Justice Lab had conducted "26 in-depth interviews with people who had 11 or more citations and arrests" and "spoke with over 21 subject matter experts, participated in over 12 observational visits, and had over 65 participants help co-create the Justice Lab's initiatives." The City's release omitted mentioning the "transient" aspect included in the Justice Lab's data.

On December 18, 2018, a Task Force on homelessness/affordable housing chosen by Mayor Garcia, who didn't include individuals/groups focused on crime impacts, issued a report that didn't include the word "crime" in its text. Its recommendations included increasing taxpayer spending for various homeless and housing programs (including a "dedicated local revenue source") and launching a City Hall "educational" effort to change public opinion toward accepting homeless services in various neighborhoods through a "YIMBY" ("yes in my backyard") campaign.

Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to incumbent Long Beach officials, development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.

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