Criminal Justice Reform - Are We Ready?

Deinstitutionalization in the 1970s was a good thing. However, we were not ready with enough community supports to help the thousands of people who were released, and as a result many people with mental illness became homeless.

Now we are seeing efforts to reform the criminal justice system, another good thing. This could potentially result in the release of tens of thousands of people—all of whom will need a place to live, receive supports, and reconnect with their communities.

People with criminal records face significant barriers to housing. Studies have shown that formerly incarcerated individuals experience high rates of homelessness, and in some urban areas an estimated 30% to 50% of people on parole have no place to call home. Research has also shown that formerly incarcerated individuals who cannot find stable affordable housing are more likely to recidivate than those who do.

When reforming our criminal justice system, we must ensure that people with criminal records have access to stable and affordable housing to help them get back on their feet after serving their time. If we do not, we will be repeating our mistakes from the past, leading to the same dismal results.

Who We Are

We are a broad coalition of advocates promoting safe, stable, affordable and accessible housing for vulnerable people, including those who have been involved in the criminal or juvenile justice system. What we do.