Housing Voucher Program

Individuals with a history of criminal convictions often enter into a vicious circle whereby their history presents as a barrier to acquiring stable housing and gainful employment, facilitating recidivism. In Washington State, it had been standard practice to detain prison inmates beyond their earned release date (ERD) until they could demonstrate they could secure suitable housing arrangements. But the Washington State Department of Corrections endeavored to alter this policy by developing the Washington State Housing Voucher Program (HVP). For those incarcerated persons who encounter challenges procuring or maintaining an agreeable housing arrangement prior to their scheduled release date are provided with housing vouchers that would effectively cover the cost of up to three months of rent expenses in private housing. A peer reviewed analysis of HVP by researchers from Washington State University (WSU) concluded that the program does not compromise public safety when compared to recidivism outcomes for traditional release programs. Additionally, WSU researchers affirmed the cost-saving nature of HVP in finding that an estimated $7.00 were saved for every $1.00 spent on HVP.

Download more info about HVP and WSU’s program evaluation here