No Fixed Address: The Intersections of Justice Involvement and Homelessness represents the first phase of a new research endeavor conducted by the John Howard Society of Ontario in partnership with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation. This report explores the vicious cycle of justice involvement and homelessness. People involved with the justice system are at an increased risk of becoming homeless, while people living with homelessness are at an increased risk of incarceration. There are various systemic barriers that serve to trap people in this cycle of homelessness and justice involvement, preventing reintegration into society after incarceration. This report also analyzed over a decade’s worth of data on admissions to Ontario’s correctional institutions for people with No Fixed Address. The findings suggest that the number of admissions of people with No Fixed Address has increased over the past decade. Furthermore, the problems are worse for some people than it is for others. It is clear that changes to policy and practices are required to prevent more people from becoming trapped in this cycle.
Education, Employment, Housing & the Criminal Justice System
A Foundation to Build On: An Evaluation of John Howard Society of Thunder Bay’s Residential Reintegration Program focuses on a transitional housing facility in Thunder Bay that supports individuals who are in conflict with the law and are either homeless or at-risk of being homeless. The evaluation was structured under a realist evaluation framework and aimed to contribute to Ontario’s 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness by illuminating what works for youth, women, and Indigenous Peoples leaving provincial correctional institutions. The evaluation examined the successes, challenges, and outcomes for individuals in securing housing in the community while bolstering independent living skills, and reducing their risks of homelessness and recidivism. The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on service delivery, the program, and the evaluation, which is outlined throughout the report.
Broken Record: The Continued Criminalization of Mental Health Issues, report and accompanying interactive website, reveals how people with mental health issues end up in Ontario’s criminal justice system and the destructive consequences that result for these individuals, their families, taxpayers, and all of society. Broken Record updates and amplifies the policy proposals previously outlined by JHSO in its 2015 report, “Unlocking Change”. It presents common sense solutions that can be implemented to effectively decriminalize mental health issues in Ontario.
At Our Place: A Study on Living & Belonging in Enhanced Supportive Housing examines promising practices for supportive housing programs for the chronically homeless. The study examined the successes, challenges, and shared meaning of the Rita Thompson Residence’s approach to sustaining resident tenancy and community inclusion. The aim of this study was to aid other housing programs in their capacity to anticipate, assess, and implement promising solutions in their own housing programs.
Closed quarters: Challenges and opportunities in stabilizing housing and mental health across the justice sector is a report by the Housing, Health, and Justice Community of Interest (COI), spells out the issues faced by people whose needs are at the intersection of housing, mental health, and justice system involvement, and also makes related recommendations.
Reintegration in Ontario: Practices, Priorities, and Effective Models, a Report released on behalf of the Association for Effective Reintegration in Ontario (AERO), a collaborative group of researchers, front-line service providers, and academics, provides practical solutions to effect real change to the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals back into society. Reintegration in Ontario provides a unique guide for reintegration services and programming in Ontario. The research and models identified challenge those traditional programs and services that no longer adequately deal with the complex nature of reintegration.
Effective, Just and Humane: A Case for Client-Centered Collaboration is a research study of a transitional housing model in Toronto, and the need for comprehensive, client-centered case management when it comes to providing housing supports for those exiting the criminal justice system.