Homelessness: A criminogenic situation?

Bill Mccarthy*, John Hagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Criminologists have been reluctant to pursue the idea that situational factors encourage criminal activity. Following Gibbons's work on 'criminogenic situations', we investigate the 'criminogenic' nature of homelessness. Using data on a sample of homeless youth (N = 390) in Toronto, Canada, we find that a significantly greater proportion of these young people commits offences after, rather than before, leaving home. Moreover, this pattern does not appear to be an effect of age, gender, or the number of previous homeless experiences; instead, it appears to be a result of the current homeless situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-410
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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