Class Year


Document Type


Date of Creation

Fall 2021

Department 1

Public Policy


As the number of unsheltered homeless increases, an alternative to criminalization, homeless courts, have also become more common. 18 States currently have one or more specialty court programs dedicated to meting out alternative sentencing to the local homeless. Homeless courts are a rehabilitative process with the end goal of reintegration into society. They allow nonviolent misdemeanors to be resolved without jail time or fines. In lieu of traditional sentencing is community service and mandated self-improvement. This chapter examines the current criminalization, and history, of homelessness in the United States. Of primary interest is the development of homeless courts as an attempt to respond to the underlying problems causing homelessness. Going back to the nation’s first in San Diego, the purpose of this investigation is to compare and contrast the strategies and goals of different specialty courts and to determine which if any have been successful in reducing the homeless population.


Created for PP 440: Individualized Study Internship

Presented at the American Society of Criminology 2021 Annual Meeting with Prof. Anne Douds

Additional Files

Troeger_Homeless-Justice-Slides.pdf (2689 kB)
Slides accompanying text of presentation