A Sort of Homecoming: The Effects of Incarceration on Men’s Housing Stability

Amanda B. Geller, Columbia University
Marah A. Curtis, Boston University

Residential stability has long been recognized as an input into the economic, physical, and emotional health of individuals and their communities, particularly among populations vulnerable in other aspects of their lives. However, individuals returning from incarceration face both administrative and de facto barriers to the attainment of housing, which have been posited to threaten prospects for re-entry and increase ex-offenders’ likelihood of recidivism. The proposed analysis uses a large longitudinal study of urban families to estimate the extent to which incarceration compromises men’s housing security. We identify a number of unstable circumstances in which respondents may live, and use a series of Rasch models to determine which represent the greatest insecurity. Controlling for pre-incarceration residence, we then estimate how this insecurity is affected by incarceration. We anticipate that incarceration indeed exacerbates housing instability, suggesting severe hardship for the hundreds of thousands of men released from jail and prison each year.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 67: Policy and Family