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Exploring the Viscous Cycle of Incarceration and Homelessness

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

PBS News Hour explores the struggles that returning citizens face in finding housing after incarceration, which in turn prevents them from getting treatment for an addiction or from securing a steady job, and ultimately, staying out of jail. The report is part of a weeklong series, "Searching for Justice".

A 2018 study by the Prison Policy Initiative found that formerly incarcerated people were nearly 10 times more likely to be homeless than the general population, especially upon release.
And a 2019 study from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition found that those who are homeless, in turn, are far more likely to be arrested for crimes like trespassing, panhandling, shoplifting, and assault.

According to one homeless individual:

"You know, it's not a matter of if you get arrested. It's a matter of when, and then how long you're going to be gone."



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