Rapid rehousing of formerly homeless jail and prison inmates

Rapid rehousing of formerly homeless jail and prison inmates

The purpose of this paper is to assess the programmatic effectiveness of a post-incarceration support service, Jail In-Reach, to rapidly and permanently re-house newly released offenders with a documented history of homelessness, substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Data were obtained from SEARCH Homeless Services using the Adult Texas Recommended Assessment Guidelines survey instrument by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Repeated measures analysis of variance were performed to determine the effects of select predictors on the likelihood of permanent housing, which, for this research, is considered programmatic success.

Results indicate clients exhibited decreased risks of self-harm, employment problems, housing instability, co-occurring substance use, and criminal justice involvement as well as increased social support. Over half of the program participants either disappeared from the program or only secured temporary housing.

This was a small pilot project with limited generalizability. There have been no follow-up studies to examine long term permanent housing success. No data were available as to why participants dropped out of the program.

Intensive advocacy and support services provided pre- and post-institutional release could provide formerly homeless inmates with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues with positive outcomes.

Housing stability and connections to social service agencies are key factors for ensuring ex-offenders do not become re-incarcerated.

This paper contributes to the literature related to reducing homelessness among ex-offenders, to the effectiveness of critical time intervention-based programming, and the need for building social capital amongst this unique and underserved population.

JOURNAL: Housing, Care and Support