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Police Response to Homelessness: Promising Practices and Partnerships for Criminal Justice Professionals

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Police often are the first (and sometimes the only) point of government contact for persons experiencing homelessness (PEH).

Although it has been common for police to rely on traditional law enforcement powers in dealing with homelessness, many agencies have moved away from arrest-focused methods in favor of approaches that are designed to foster positive relationships with PEH, assess individual needs of each person or area, and guide homeless or unsheltered individuals to the services they require.

This webinar reviews the background of homelessness and law enforcement in the United States, the challenges in studying the topic, and some high-priority needs to advance research and understanding.

These needs cut across four main topic areas: promising law enforcement practices; partnerships and collaboration with service providers and the community; data collection, analysis, and evaluation; and basic research and public education.

Finding ways to address these needs is especially important given public discussions regarding the desired scope of law enforcement and potential budget shortfalls within communities.

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Law enforcement
Date Created: February 3, 2021