Gender-specific correlates of incarceration among marginally housed individuals in San Francisco
Weiser, S. D., Neilands, T. B., Comfort, M., Dilworth, S. E., Cohen, J., Tulsky, J. P., & Riley, E. D. (2009). Gender-specific correlates of incarceration among marginally housed individuals in San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health, 99(8), 1459-1463.
OBJECTIVES: We assessed how different patterns of housing instability affect incarceration and whether correlates of incarceration are gender specific. METHODS: We used multivariate logistic regression to assess associations between patterns of housing instability and recent jail stays among a reproducible sample of 1175 marginally housed adults in San Francisco, California. RESULTS: Over the previous year, 71% of men and 21% of women in the sample reported jail stays. Among women, long-term single-room occupancy hotel stays ( > 90 days) were protective for incarceration. Stays in the street were associated with incarceration among both genders, but among men, short-term (i.e., <or= 90 days) street stays were associated with the highest odds of incarceration, and among women, long-term street stays were most correlated with incarceration. Sex trade increased the odds of incarceration among men only; recent drug use was associated with incarceration among both genders. CONCLUSIONS: Correlates of incarceration differed by gender, and patterns of housing instability differentially affected incarceration for men and women. Policies to improve housing options and drug treatment for the urban poor are critical to breaking the cycle of incarceration and homelessness and improving health outcomes