Discharge planning is a key element of preventing homelessness for people re-entering the community.

The U.S. has the most incarcerated people of any nation in the world. 95% of those people will eventually be released from prisons and jails. With criminal justice reform on the horizon the number released each year will be greater than in the past. Having a criminal record is a significant barrier to housing and employment and puts many people at risk of homelessness. One study found that the two factors that predicted whether someone would experience long-term homelessness was old age and arrest history.

It is vital that communities ensure that all people reentering the community have a place to call home. This means:

  1. Working with housing providers such as housing authority and private market landlords to lower their screening criteria and provide housing to people with criminal records.
  2. Offering legal and housing support to formerly incarcerated people experiencing homelessness
  3. Creating discharge plans with the criminal justice system so no one is released to shelter or the streets.


Library Resources

Toolkits | March 1, 2016
The National Governers Association released this guide which gives governors and their criminal justice policy advisors the critical information they need to implement effective policies and programs in areas such as institutional corrections, parole and probation and juvenile justice.
Conference Presentation | July 23, 2015
Conference presentations from 4.13 Giving People a Second Chance: Opportunities for Discharge Planning and Reentry from Prison