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: 213377 Find in a Library
Title: Psychiatric Hospital Capacity, Homelessness, and Crime and Arrest Rates
Journal: Criminology  Volume:44  Issue:1  Dated:February 2006  Pages:45-72
Author(s): Fred E. Markowitz
Date Published: February 2006
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the relationships between public psychiatric hospital capacity, homelessness, and crime and arrest rates within 81 United States cities.
Abstract: Overall, the results indicate that public psychiatric hospital capacity has a significant negative effect on crime and arrest rates, mainly through its impact on homelessness. Mentally ill offenders were found to be overrepresented among those incarcerated in jails and prisons, especially for violent crimes. However, city-apportioned total mental health expenditures were found to be unrelated to overall crime or arrest rates. The findings suggest that community-based services may not have a significant impact on community crime and arrest rates. The findings have implications for public policy considerations that would further reduce public psychiatric capacity. The research involved a macro-level approach to examining the relationships between psychiatric hospital capacity, homelessness, and crime and arrest rates. The sample included 81 U.S. cities with populations of greater than 50,000 that had city-level estimates of homelessness from a variety of sources. Data examined were from 1989 through 1990. The city-level measure of psychiatric hospital capacity was drawn from the annual Guide to the Healthcare Field (1990) publication from the American Hospital Association. Crime and arrest data were drawn from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Uniform Crime Reports. Data analysis techniques included bivariate correlations and regression models. Future research might consider testing the relationships among these same variables over time. Footnotes, tables, references
Main Term(s): Crime Rate; Psychiatric services
Index Term(s): Arrest statistics; Homeless offenders; Homeless persons; Mental health services; Mentally ill offenders
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.