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Bill McCarthy and John Hagan (1991)

Homelessness: A Criminogenic Situation?

British Journal of Criminology, 31(4):393--410.

The generality of D. Gibbons's situational explanation of crime (see SA 20:5/72F7610) & the criminogenic nature of homelessness were investigated via interviews with 390 homeless adolescents in Toronto, Ontario. Twenty-one criminal activities in 5 categories (drug use, drug selling, property offenses, assault, & other) were analyzed for 4 categories of adolescents (abstainers from crime prior to homelessness & while homeless, crime participants both at home & while homeless, violators at home only, & violators on the streets only). Significant increases in criminal activity were associated with homelessness, but varied by gender & age. No clear pattern to increase in crime participation by number of previous homeless experiences nor length of time since living at home was discovered. However, for the group of prolonged homeless adolescents (1+ years), there was a significant after-leaving-home rise in 10 of the 21 criminal activities for females, & in 11 of the activities for males. It is concluded that homelessness, more than background variables, was responsible for criminal activity rates, thereby supporting Gibbons's theory. 7 Tables, 46 References. M. Pflum

homelessness, criminogenic nature/situational explanation, homeless adolescents, Toronto, Ontario, interviews, *Adolescents, *Toronto, Ontario, *Crime, *Homelessness, article, 2793: studies in poverty; homelessness
SubjectsTermNotLitGenreText - *Homelessness; *Toronto, Ontario; *Crime; *Adolescents

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