Session: When Crises Combine: Smart Decarceration in an Era of Housing Insecurity (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

111 When Crises Combine: Smart Decarceration in an Era of Housing Insecurity

Friday, January 18, 2019: 1:45 PM-3:15 PM
Golden Gate 6, Lobby Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Crime and Criminal Justice (C&CJ)
Symposium Organizer:
Leah Jacobs, PhD, University of Pittsburgh
The United States' bloated incarceration rate has immense social and economic costs, making it a pressing social problem and earning "smart decarceration" a place in social work's Grand Challenges. In the last quarter of the 21st century, as incarceration rates climbed, another major social problem emerged-- the inaccessibility of affordable, stable housing. While some scholars have dedicated attention to rising incarceration and some have recently focused attention on housing inaccessibility and instability, research on the interaction between these social problems is nascent. In this symposium, members of Promoting Smart Decarceration working groups will discuss research at the intersection of the penal and housing crises, providing important insights regarding the role of housing in smart decarceration.

This symposium will feature four studies. These studies examine how housing insecurity may act as a risk factor for criminal justice entry and re-entry, how housing insecurity may differentially affect justice-involved populations, and how social workers might address housing needs, curb justice-involvement, and promote wellbeing. Using a variety of study designs (longitudinal, cross-sectional, and intervention pilot), these researchers find (1) housing eviction is a risk factor for incurring a criminal charge, above and beyond other socioeconomic and psychosocial risk factors; (2) housing instability and homelessness are risk factors for recidivism, even after controlling for criminal risk factors and demographic characteristics; (3) housing instability is associated with having any criminal record and, for the most part, is not unique to those with drug records; and (4), interventions that combine housing with wrap-around services may improve psychosocial and criminal justice outcomes for those under community supervision.

Panelists will also discuss the important implications of their findings for social work research and practice. Together, their work implies that housing status and stability are components of a holistic understanding of justice involvement. Their work also supports direct practice and policy interventions that address housing instability for individuals and communities in order to reduce justice involvement. Ultimately, these findings highlight the unique capacity for social workers, who straddle criminal justice- and social welfare systems and intervene at micro- and macro levels, to promote smart decarceration.

* noted as presenting author
The Effect of Eviction on Maternal Criminal Justice Contact
Aaron Gottlieb, University of Illinois at Chicago; Jessica Moose, University of Illinois at Chicago
Residential Instability, Homelessness, and Criminal Recidivism
Leah Jacobs, PhD, University of Pittsburgh; LauraEllen Ashcraft, MSW, University of Pittsburgh
Housing Instability and Drug Records
Mark Plassmeyer, MSW, University of Denver
"Project Enough": A Multi-Modal Transitional Housing Embedded Intervention for Corrections-Involved Women
Jean Kjellstrand, PhD, University of Oregon; Mark Eddy, PhD, New York University; Jean Schumer, PhD, University of Oregon
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