JustLeadershipUSA and National Association of Social Workers Discuss Affordable Housing and Criminal Justice Reform

The Opportunity Starts at Home multisector affordable homes campaign released on November 14 its twentieth podcast episode, this one featuring two experts from the campaign’s multi-sector Steering Committee speaking about the intersection of affordable housing and criminal justice reform

Mel Wilson, senior policy consultant for social justice and human rights at the National Association of Social Workers and Dylan Hayre, senior policy advisor at JustLeadershipUSA, discuss: the scale of the nation’s mass incarceration crisis and the legacy of public policies that shaped it; how housing instability leads to encounters with the criminal legal system; how such encounters in turn create major barriers to finding stable affordable housing; the importance of cross-sector work; and solutions.

“Housing is the foundation,” said Mr. Hayre. “It’s the building block from which a lot of other things can fall into place. For criminal justice folks, there’s an emerging recognition that we need to be intersectional in our approach.”

“There is an education that we need to do with our fellow reformers, explaining that we have to put energy around the investment of funds towards housing,” said Mr. Wilson. “This has to get as much of a priority as some of the other issues that we’re dealing with in criminal justice reform.”

The National Association of Social Workers is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with more than 120,000 members. JustLeadershipUSA is one of the nation’s leading criminal justice reform advocacy organizations dedicated to cutting the U.S. prison population in half by 2030.

More information about the intersection between affordable housing and criminal justice is on the campaign’s Fact Sheet.

More about the National Association of Social Workers is at: https://www.socialworkers.org

More about JustLeadershipUSA is at: https://jlusa.org

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