Incarceration at an earlier age is associated with earlier and longer experiences of homelessness

Housing Matters, an Urban Institute Initiative, featured new research exploring the homelessness experiences of people who were incarcerated before age 25. The focus of the study was whether there is an association between age at first incarceration and age at first experience of homelessness and lifetime duration of homelessness. Researchers found that incarceration as a juvenile or transitional youth is significantly associated with first experiencing homelessness at an earlier age. People incarcerated before age 18 were found to experience homelessness an average of 9.8 years earlier than those incarcerated after age 24. Women who were incarcerated as an older youth were more likely than their male counterparts to experience homelessness earlier in life. The work also identified an association between age of incarceration and lifetime duration of homelessness: those incarcerated at age 15 spent significantly more time homeless in their lifetime, even compared to those incarcerated at age 16 or 17. Though the study is not generalizable, it highlights the importance of reentry programs and targeted supports to reduce homelessness among this vulnerable population. #covid-19

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