No Fixed Abode: The Continuum of Policing and Incarcerating the Homeless

Cooper, Vickie (2017). No Fixed Abode: The Continuum of Policing and Incarcerating the Homeless. Policing: a journal of policy and practice, 11(1) pp. 29–38.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/police/paw015

Abstract

In the overzealous drive to criminalize and target the homeless for offences that are mostly related to their poverty status, this article makes the argument that homelessness produces targets for policing, and by extension, punishment. Drawing upon empirical evidence carried out in England, this article highlights the challenges that having no fixed abode presents within the criminal justice system. Looking at how homelessness impacts upon individual experiences in the criminal justice system, including pre-trial imprisonment, conviction and probation, this article argues that the resort to incarcerating homeless populations cannot be separated from the rise in policing and enforcement strategies that result in the disproportionate number of arrests and prosecutions of unhoused populations.

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