Various barriers to affordable and adequate housing have caused an enduring housing crisis in the United States. These barriers are especially detrimental to individuals with previous involvement in the criminal justice system (ICJS), who face discriminatory housing practices and often lack financial capital. The ICJS population is 10 times more likely to end up homeless as compared to the general population. Housing instability limits access to employment and healthcare, and consequentially, increases chances of recidivism. In order to understand the impact of United States housing programs for the ICJS population, studies were systemically reviewed and synthesized. 623 studies from Pubmed, PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO were reviewed through a one-reviewer process. Studies were included if they were conducted in the United States between 1990 and 2020. The final analysis included 11 relevant research papers. Results from this systematic review demonstrate that individuals of the ICJS population often experience better outcomes regarding housing stability, criminal activity and substance use when they resided in regulated housing and received wrap around social services following ICJS. The implication drawn is that initial housing instability following ICJS may be as significant a risk factor for future housing stability as is criminal history. To my knowledge, this systematic review is the first study that presents a synthesis of literature on the effects of United States housing programs for individuals who were ICJS in various capacities. The findings of this review implicate the necessity of providing the ICJS population with regulated housing programs and can inform policy intervention for this vulnerable population in the future.
Recommended CitationMosca, Rachel; Frasso, PhD, CPH, Rosemary; and Leader, DrPH, MPH, Amy, "The effectiveness of housing programs for individuals with criminal justice history: A systematic review" (2020). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 343.