Once a lady of the night, "Passion" now plies her trade on Sunset Boulevard in broad daylight. She changed her hours after a judge convicted her of prostitution and then, as a condition of her probation, banned her from performing a laundry list of otherwise legal acts from dusk to dawn.
Now police can arrest her for violating her probation if they spot her walking down the street or simply talking to motorists.
"I don't think it's fair," she says.
City and county officials in Southern California--pushed to the limit by panhandlers, prostitutes and gang members--are experimenting with a wide range of methods that attempt to curb crimes before they are committed. It is one of the newest trends in crime-fighting. Seemingly mundane acts--carrying a cellular phone, standing on a street corner, even wearing a belt buckle--can now be punished by fines or jail time.
To the dismay of public defenders and civil libertarians, far-reaching local laws and court orders targeting gang members have sprung up from Bakersfield to Pomona to Westminster since the late 1980s, banishing them from favorite hangouts or forbidding them from being seen together in public.
A tough anti-loitering ordinance aimed at drug dealing is on the books in Monrovia and, at the request of police, prosecutors in the northwestern San Fernando Valley have quietly begun asking judges to banish panhandlers from profitable corners.
From South-Central Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley, strict probation conditions have driven prostitutes out of their old neighborhoods.
The new tactics are gaining converts, or at least sparking interest, in cities across the nation.
"California is leading the way in many respects in anti-crime programs," said Kim Ogg, the anti-gang director for Houston, who came to Los Angeles County last fall to get a firsthand look at injunctions issued against gangs in Burbank and Norwalk.
But the programs are not without critics, who contend that illegalizing behavior that is legal in almost all other circumstances is just a temporary solution--Passion says she still works steadily--and flies in the face of the Constitution.
"What we're really saying is, we don't have the resources to wait until you commit the crime," said Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender Alex Ricciardulli. "So we're not going to punish you for what you do, we're going to punish you for what you are."
Not so, say prosecutors and police, who applaud these new tools for stomping out crime in neighborhoods torn by vice and violence.
"We have to become more progressive, more innovative, and employ new techniques," said Burbank Police Sgt. Eric Rosoff.
While the trend apparently began in Southern California when Los Angeles City Atty. James K. Hahn obtained a broad injunction against a Westside gang in 1987, other cities and communities took the prohibitions to new levels.
In 1991, the San Fernando City Council banned gang members from Las Palmas Park after a mother and her three young children were wounded by gang cross-fire.
The next year, Burbank authorities won a court order banning suspected gang members from being seen together on a section of West Elmwood Avenue, including some who lived there, after two people were shot and injured within a few hours.
The slaying of apartment owner Donald Aragon on Van Nuys' Blythe Street in the fall of 1992 prompted the city attorney's office to obtain a court injunction to curb the acts of a gang it claimed had taken over an entire block.
"We had a neighborhood under siege," said Los Angeles Deputy City Atty. Jule Bishop, who helped draft the injunction and has prosecuted gang members for violating it.
Issued in 1993, the injunction forbids gang members from doing everything from possessing portable telephones to standing on rooftops. The order also established a curfew for juvenile gang members.
Last August, county prosecutors received an injunction against a Norwalk gang, establishing curfews and forbidding 22 members of the Orange Street Locos from, among other things, carrying crowbars, baseball bats and other potential weapons.
Law enforcement authorities and some residents say the methods have been effective.
The restrictions imposed on the Westside and San Fernando gang members, for example, were allowed to expire after violence in those communities subsided.
Norwalk residents said the injunction there has restored calm to a street where they were once regularly terrorized by fire-bombings, gunfire and car break-ins.
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti touted the Norwalk program, saying it "restores hope that you can take your communities back."
And in Burbank, "the gang that was prevalent is much less active," Rosoff said. "They got an idea that 'this is our kingdom,' but the order took a lot of wind out of their sails."
But not everyone is satisfied that justice is being served.