Law \ Legal

Are We Unfairly Criminalizing the Homeless?

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New research finds that homeless people are most likely to be falsely linked to  lawlessness and “antisocial behaviors” that put the social order and safety of a neighborhood at risk, reports Saumya Kalia for The Swaddle.

In addition, homeless people found sleeping in locations not meant for living, who represent the most visible members of the population, are wrongly criminalized by surrounding neighborhoods.

Dispersing or moving them had no marked effect.

The link between homelessness and criminality perpetuates the pervasive belief that camps or sites where homeless people live generate crime.

Up to 15 percent of incarcerated people experienced homelessness one year before their admission to a prison, according to a 2018 survey.

The link between homelessness and mental illness further exposes the population to social stigma that results in worse responses from authorities, media, and the general public.

Additional reading: States Push to Criminalize Homeless, Aug 13, 2022, The Crime Report

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