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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 6, pp e550–e555 | Cite as

The effect of incarceration on housing stability among homeless and vulnerably housed individuals in three Canadian cities: A prospective cohort study

  • Matthew J. To
  • Anita Palepu
  • Flora I. Matheson
  • John Ecker
  • Susan Farrell
  • Stephen W. Hwang
  • Dan WerbEmail author
Quantitative Research
  • 3 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study is to characterize the associations between a history of incarceration and subsequent housing stability over a two-year follow-up period among a sample of homeless and vulnerably housed individuals.

METHODS: The study was a prospective cohort study of homeless and vulnerably housed adults in three Canadian cities. Between 2009 and 2012, data were collected using structured, in-person interviews at baseline and two follow-up interviews. Generalized estimating equations were employed to determine the association between reported incarceration within the past 12 months and being housed during the subsequent year over a two-year follow-up period.

RESULTS: Baseline data were available for 1,189 homeless and vulnerably housed adults. Recent incarceration was reported by 337 (29%) individuals at baseline. In adjusted analyses, incarceration in the past 12 months was independently associated with a decreased likelihood of being housed during the subsequent year over the two-year follow-up period (adjusted odds ratio = 0.67, 95% confidence interval: 0.50–0.90).

CONCLUSION: Homeless and vulnerably housed individuals reporting recent incarceration were less likely to be housed over a two-year follow-up period. These findings highlight the importance of assisting individuals experiencing incarceration with securing stable housing during discharge and post-release planning.

Key Words

Homeless persons housing prisons public health substance-related disorders 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Caractériser les associations entre les antécédents d’incarcération et la stabilité ultérieure du logement sur une période de suivi de deux ans au sein d’un échantillon de sans-abri et de personnes vulnérables sur le plan du logement.

MÉTHODE: Il s’agissait d’une étude prospective de cohortes d’adultes sans abri ou vulnérables sur le plan du logement dans trois villes canadiennes. Entre 2009 et 2011, nous avons recueilli des données de départ à l’aide d’entretiens directs structurés, puis mené deux entretiens de suivi. Nous avons employé des équations d’estimation généralisées pour déterminer l’association entre la déclaration d’une incarcération au cours des 12 mois antérieurs et le logement durant l’année ultérieure sur une période de suivi de deux ans.

RÉSULTATS: Des données de référence étaient disponibles pour 1 1 89 adultes sans abri ou vulnérables sur le plan du logement. Une incarcération récente a été déclarée par 337 personnes au départ (29 %). Dans nos analyses ajustées, l’incarcération au cours des 12 mois antérieurs était indépendamment associée à une moindre probabilité d’être logé durant l’année ultérieure au cours de la période de suivi de deux ans (rapport de cotes ajusté = 0,67, intervalle de confiance de 95 %: 0,50–0,90).

CONCLUSION: Les personnes sans abri ou vulnérables sur le plan du logement ayant fait état d’une incarcération récente étaient moins susceptibles d’être logées au cours d’une période de suivi de deux ans. Ces constatations soulignent l’importance d’aider les personnes ayant vécu une expérience d’incarcération à obtenir un logement stable durant la planification de leur libération et de la période postlibératoire.

Mots Clés

sans-abri logement prisons santé publique troubles liés à une substance 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew J. To
    • 1
  • Anita Palepu
    • 2
  • Flora I. Matheson
    • 1
    • 3
  • John Ecker
    • 4
  • Susan Farrell
    • 5
  • Stephen W. Hwang
    • 1
    • 6
  • Dan Werb
    • 1
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Urban Health SolutionsSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, Department of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  5. 5.Royal Ottawa Health Care CroupOttawaCanada
  6. 6.Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Division of Global Public Health, University of California San DiegoUniversity of California School of MedicineSan DiegoUSA

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