Criminal records and housing: an experimental study
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Ex-offenders consistently identify stable housing as one of the most important factors to a successful reentry (Garland et al. 2010; O’Brien 2001). Housing options for ex-offenders generally include residing with family members, community-based correctional housing, non-correctional transitional housing, homeless and special needs shelters, subsidized housing, and private housing (Roman and Travis 2004). However, a host of factors may make several of these sources of housing infeasible, which can leave only private housing options (see Carey 2005, Desmond 2016, Legal Action Center 2016, and Roman and Travis 2004 for detailed discussions on barriers to housing). Unfortunately, there are also barriers to securing private housing, largely because of the increased use of background checks to screen out potentially risky applicants (Helfgott 1997; Thacher 2008). Despite the increase in background checks, it is still unclear what standard is being used to screen out potential...
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