Free but Locked Out Employment and Housing Barriers for Adults on Probation

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Rodrigo Tojo Garcia
Noura Abukhadra


Most adults in the United States under criminal justice control are on probation, a form of community supervision where individuals live in their home communities but report to a probation officer. This paper is a mixed-methods analysis of how probation affects employment and housing. We draw upon a sample of 166 interviews of adults on probation featuring structured open-ended and closed-ended questions, focusing specifically on employment and housing quality. In addition, we use quotes from these interviews to construct a more holistic picture of the ways in which employment and housing interact to create substantial barriers for adults on probation. Our findings suggest that probation negatively impacts the ability of individuals to gain employment and housing. We conclude by arguing that policies should be implemented to reduce bias in the tenant and worker selection process and mitigate these negative consequences of having a criminal record.

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Social Sciences, Education and Communication