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May 14, 2021

Hard time leads to homelessness: report

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A new study shows prison can lead to homelessness.(Pic: Shutterstock)
A new study shows prison can lead to homelessness.(Pic: Shutterstock)

Jail time and homelessness go hand-in-hand, new research shows.

A survey of 1400 Australians who were homeless, or at risk of it, found 42 per cent had been released from prison, juvenile detention or remand within the preceding six months.

Researcher Dr Julie Moschion, from the University of Melbourne, also said a longer time spent behind bars also correlated to a longer stretch of being homeless.

‘The connections between prison time and homelessness suggest that there is a further role for policy makers to prevent the cycle between crime and homelessness,’ Dr Moschion said.

‘We also found that rates of homelessness were higher for those who experienced physical and sexual violence.’

Those abusing alcohol and illegal drugs were also more likely to be homeless, according to the Journeys Home Research Report, while males were generally homeless for longer than females during the 30-month survey period.

Homelessness was defined as: being without conventional accommodation; those moving frequently between temporary accommodation; and people staying in boarding houses on a medium to long-term basis.

REALITY FOR AUSTRALIA’S HOMELESS:

– 44 per cent homeless for less than six months.

– Multiple spells common with 40 per cent falling “in and out” of homelessness.

– Family support and moving to cheaper housing areas key to escaping homelessness.


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