skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 193805 Find in a Library
Title: Homeless and Non-Homeless Arrestees: Distinctions in Prevalence and in Sociodemographic, Drug Use, and Arrest Characteristics Across DUF Sites, Final Report
Author(s): Richard Speiglman; Rex S. Green
Corporate Author: Public Health Institute
United States of America
Date Published: January 1999
Page Count: 49
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Public Health Institute
Berkeley, CA 94704
Grant Number: 97-IJ-CX-0045
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Public Health Institute
2168 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Analyses of five quarters (fourth quarter of 1995 through the fourth quarter of 1996) of DUF (Drug Use Forecasting) data from 23 metropolitan areas nationwide focused on whether being homeless or not affected being arrested.
Abstract: The study hypothesized that homeless persons would be arrested more often for less serious crimes than housed persons and would be more likely to be involved with drugs, but not receiving drug treatment. The rates of arrestees who were coded as "homeless" ranged from 6.2 percent for adult males to 2.4 percent for juvenile males. The rates for females were 5 percent for adults and 4.1 percent for juveniles. The rates of homeless arrestees were much higher than the rates of homelessness for the communities where arrestees lived. Even the highest estimates of homelessness nationwide, as reported from research studies, fell well below the levels of homelessness among arrestees. All sites reported arresting a higher percentage of homeless persons than double the highest estimated community homeless rate. After distinguishing three subgroups of adult arrestees and three subgroups of juvenile arrestees based on sociodemographic, arrest-status, drug-use, and drug-history variables, tests of difference on four variables were performed between homeless and housed arrestees. Across subgroups, homeless persons consistently were less likely to be charged with violent crimes than were housed persons. No differences were noted on the other variables. The percentages of homeless arrestees who reported either previous or current participation in drug treatment were compared with the percentages of housed persons so reporting. Proportionately more homeless persons reported previous participation in drug treatment, which was consistent with their higher levels of drug involvement; however, levels of current participation in treatment did not differ between the two groups. This report recommends that more consistent referrals be made to drug treatment for homeless persons. Further, police agencies and the public should be made more aware that homeless persons are not apparently among the more violent offenders. The higher arrest rates of homeless persons compared with housed persons suggests the need for alternative approaches for maintaining order and promoting justice when policing the homeless. 9 tables, 1 figure, 38 references, and appended coded data
Main Term(s): Drug use
Index Term(s): Arrest statistics; Comparative analysis; Drug treatment; Drug Use Forecasting system; Homeless offenders; Homeless persons; NIJ final report; Violent crimes
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.