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Incarceration and Homelessness



Release Date: 
September 2007 (31 pages)
Posted Date:   
December 31, 2008



Stephen Metraux, PhD, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Caterina G. Roman, PhD, The Urban Institute, Washington, DC
Richard S. Cho, MCP, Corporation for Supportive Housing, New York, NY



Disclaimer: The paper presents the views and opinions of the respective author(s) and does not necessarily represent the views, positions, and policies of the federal government.


This paper provides a synthesis of the emerging literature on the nexus between incarceration and homelessness. The authors explain how the increasing numbers of people leaving carceral institutions face an increased risk for homelessness and, conversely, how persons experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to incarceration. The authors review recent efforts to address reentry issues and review research results on studies of homelessness among prison and jail populations and research on incarceration among people who homeless. After reviewing common barriers to housing for people who have been incarcerated, the authors assess what is known about the effectiveness of services and housing interventions to address these barriers and outline needs for future research.