Homeless Issues Facing The Criminal Justice System And Ethical Dilemmas

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Homeless Issues facing the Criminal Justice System and Ethical Dilemmas

Homeless Issues facing the Criminal Justice System and Ethical Dilemmas


Throughout the history, homelessness has posed challenges for the law enforcement authorities. It has been observed people that are at the brisk of becoming homeless are the ones that are targeted by the criminal groups. They either turn out to be criminals or are victimized because of having no home. There is a direct relationship between the homeless people and the criminal justice system because at some point in time, they thwart the societal order in one way or another. The paper will discuss the issues faced by homeless people and the extent to which homelessness can be challenging for the criminal justice officials. There will be a discussion of the strategies that have been derived by the system and how a reduction in homelessness rate can reduce the crime rate.


It has been established that the surge in homelessness rate is because of the financial crises the economy has to face from time to time. According to the numerous reports that are released by the local, state and federal authorities there are no particular reasons that can be identified. One of the known reasons is the inability to acquire enough financial resources to afford a home (Bringle, 2011). Due to the financial crises, there are thousands of people that lose their jobs and it becomes difficult for them to make ends meet. Not only the loss of job, but the financial crises bring with them the worst inflation rates (Brown, 2011). The housing costs increase at a rate that the individuals become unable to raise their capacity to earn more. Apart from the financial crises, there are other reasons behind this increase in the homelessness rate.

Some of the obvious reasons are death of the breadwinner of the family, parental divorce and natural disasters (Caton, 1990). There are some other reasons that are identified indirectly by the homeless people. According to some of the homeless people, they have lost their homes because of the addiction to drugs. Others have told that they were forced to relocate by the neighbors. Another reason may be the inability to pay the bank because of being jailed for committing a felony. When the breadwinner is jailed, the family becomes unable to pay for the housing costs or rent. According to the statistics, people spend more than 25% of the income in order to pay their housing costs. Obviously, one parent cannot gain the ability to pay for the housing cost in a few days; it takes time.

Apart from the aforementioned familial causes behind homelessness, there are structural causes that are beyond the control of an individual. The social and economic causes behind homelessness can be seen as structural causes (Hombs, 2001). Poverty, unemployment and unaffordable housing can be seen as the structural causes. An individual cannot do anything about these causes because it is the responsibility of the state to address these concerns through development ...
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