There is a lack of empirical research in Australia examining the lifecourse institutional costs associated with vulnerable people who are homeless. The study presented here has developed pathway costings using the Mental Health and Cognitive Disability in the Criminal Justice System (MHDCD) Dataset that contains data on lifelong interventions and interactions with all criminal justice and some human services agencies that are available for a cohort of 2,731 people who have been in prison in NSW and whose MHDCD diagnoses are known.

This study’s purpose is to contribute to understanding the real costs associated with this group’s homelessness and criminal justice involvement and alternative policy and program responses. Merging data across criminal justice sub-systems and with relevant human services is a useful way to provide a broad, dynamic understanding of the trans-criminal justice and human service involvement of persons with complex needs.

This study was supported by the Australian Government through the National Homelessness Research Agenda of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Below are links to the full report and an evidence note that provides a summary of the report findings.

Download report    [PDF (0) 1,017 MB]          [DOC (0) 1,326 MB]


Authors: Eileen Baldry, Leanne Dowse, Ruth McCausland and Melissa Clarence, University of New South Wales, 15 May 2012

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