Hosted by the National Reentry Resource Center
People returning to the community from jail or prison often face numerous barriers to securing stable, affordable housing. Many formerly incarcerated individuals are not able to return to families. Landlords are frequently unwilling to rent to anyone with a criminal record, especially for certain offenses. Access to public housing is also limited for many people returning from incarceration. Additionally, other collateral consequences of incarceration—such as trouble finding employment—can negatively impact someone’s chances of finding stable housing.
Accessing stable, affordable housing is vital to successful reentry. The correlation between homelessness and contact with the criminal justice system is stark. Individuals experiencing homelessness are more likely to be arrested than those who are stably housed. People with criminal records are more likely to become homeless than those without. Those who exit jail or prison to emergency shelters or the streets are more likely to re-offend. This relationship between homelessness and contact with the criminal justice system is frequently complicated by mental and behavioral health concerns.
- Maureen Richey, policy analyst, The Council of State Governments Justice Center
- Kim Keaton, Senior Program Manager, Government Affairs & Innovation, CSH
- Jayme Day, Director for Individual Homeless Adults, National Alliance to End Homelessness
- Mary Owens, Management and Program Analyst, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness