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Convicted and CondemnedThe Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry$
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Keesha M. Middlemass

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724392

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724392.001.0001

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Denying Access to Public Housing

Denying Access to Public Housing

(p.81) 3 Denying Access to Public Housing
Convicted and Condemned

Keesha M. Middlemass

NYU Press

This chapter reviews national housing policies, their evolution in relationship to “tough-on-crime” politics, such as “One Strike, You’re Out,” and the importance of housing for prisoner reentry success. Drawing on the perspectives of felons reentering society and on the foundational knowledge about race and politics explored in earlier chapters, this chapter details gendered responses to being homeless, what men and women do differently to survive, and how their survival tactics undermine their reentry success. Their experiences demonstrate the consequences of socially disabling policies that prevent the vast majority of convicted felons from accessing public housing and the negative ramifications of being a homeless felon. This chapter argues that as a result of socially disabling policies that deny most felons access to public housing, government has created a homeless population on the basis of historical concepts of infamy and fear of a black felon monster lurking in the shadows.

Keywords:   public housing, One Strike, You’re Out, homeless, felon monster

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