Carly Putnam // July 16, 2015 // Updated: may 2, 2019OK policy Blog // economic Opportunity // Justice system // Poverty

This report was funded by a approve from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation.

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With limited data, the is daunting to calculation the results of PHA housing restrictions top top ex-felons. However, point-in-time homelessness surveys in Tulsa and also Oklahoma City shown that world with criminal documents are overrepresented in the homeless population. In Tulsa, 12.3 percent the those surveyed claimed that prison or prison time had contributed toward their coming to be homelessness, and also in Oklahoma City, 18 percent reported having invested time in prison in the front 6 months, and 9 percent had spent time in prison in the very same time period.

Similarly, many organizations that administer support to those freshly released from jail or jail said that locating real estate was a far-reaching barrier for your clients. One reported that clients often resort to life with human being they were close to prior to their arrest and also conviction – world who were commonly contributors in the direction of the activities that caused incarceration in the an initial place. Another said the living with friends and family commonly came v conditions, such as offering child care, i m sorry impeded clients’ capability to locate and also hold a job.

Barriers to housing are just one component of a web of challenges facing Oklahomans through felony convictions. The need that households may get housing assistance only if castle exclude family members members v criminal documents adds to incarceration’s disruption the the family. At the exact same time, those v felony convictions room barred from many jobs, some public safety net programs, and also in some cases from obtaining a driver’s license. While plans designed to keep other families receiving housing assistance safe room important, they frequently go beyond what is important to defend safety and also instead come to be more retribution ~ individuals have served their sentences.

Moving forward

Several significant US cities, including some in politically conservative states, have imposed reforms to carry out stable housing to inhabitants with a felony conviction. Salt Lake City and also County have actually partnered come implement “housing first” plans designed to relocate both the chronically homeless and recently-released prisoners right into supportive housing. The real estate Authority of brand-new Orleans freshly revised their criminal background plan to enable housing help to all however the most heinous offenders.

Similar reforms are feasible in Oklahoma. Law signed into law in the state’s 2015 legislative session reduces several of the restrictions have previously impede Oklahomans through criminal records accessibility to jobs to help them rebuild their stays after release: HB 2168 eases constraints on obtaining project licenses, and also HB 2179 allows nonviolent offenders on probation to acquire a advertisement driver’s license.

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Reforming real estate policies and transitioning to a version that prioritizes housing for ex-offenders would certainly fight recidivism, support the economy, and encourage stable families. These reforms should it is in an integral component of further criminal justice revolutionary in Oklahoma.