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"'They Are Usually Borderline Homeless': Exploring the Nexus of Homelessness, Housing Instability, Successful Reentry, and Long-Term Reintegration" (by Emily I. Troshynski and Carolyn Willis): Review 2

Published onOct 27, 2023
"'They Are Usually Borderline Homeless': Exploring the Nexus of Homelessness, Housing Instability, Successful Reentry, and Long-Term Reintegration" (by Emily I. Troshynski and Carolyn Willis): Review 2

Vote: publish pending minor changes

The article “They are usually borderline homeless: Exploring the nexus of homelessness, housing instability, successful reentry, and long-term reintegration” provides an insightful exploration of the specific challenges facing returning citizens. The authors utilize a rich data set mainly consisting of focus group and interview data with HOPE client managers and participants. The resulting analysis paints a vivid picture of the challenges these returning citizens face in curing housing and highlights the absolute importance of providing housing assistance as a way of supporting successful reentry. Great read! I recommend publication with minor changes.

  • The Abstract: I think the abstract is too long and would suggest cutting the first half and beginning at “For previously incarcerated persons…..” – this is my preference though and will support however the authors decided to proceed.

  • In the first sentence of the paper effort is made to conceal state identity, but later, even in that paragraph, the state is revealed. I would suggest revealing the state early on and throughout.

  • P. 4 begins “In the United States, each year, an estimated 700,000 individuals are released from state prisons, while approximately 10 million individuals are released from county jails and return home (Sawyer & Wagner, 2020).”

    • In this paragraph, the authors provide stats, but they at one point talk about individuals released from state and federal prison – but no federal data is provided, which needs clarification.

    • The Schanzenback citation should be et al. (there are other times et al. should be used; check throughout).

  • P. 5 First paragraph under “Access to Housing” –

    • “203 per 10,000 making them nearly overall 10” remove “overall”

    • “whites” could be changed to white people.

  • General comment – sometimes Hope For Prisoners is used, other times Hope for Prisoners – make consistent.

  • Research Site: Can the authors explain how people enroll in HOPE? Do prisoners need to be proactive? Is everyone allowed? Anyone excluded? Is there potential for self-selection bias?

  • Description of participants: 2nd paragraph

    • First sentence – remove self from self-identifying.

    • You say half the case managers are multi-lingual and half have graduate degrees – there is no half of 7, can you give specific numbers here?

    • Early in the paper, you use the term staff members/programming staff instead of case managers – it seems like just using the term case manager in all instances will improve consistency with the rest of the paper.

  • Description and Analysis of Data:

    • How were the hopefuls identified? What was the selection process?

    • Who did the coding?

  • Data:

    • The indicators of who gave the quote need to be made consistent throughout the paper for both case managers and clients – for example sometimes it’s C9, Client R3, or even the same client, etc. It is very confusing and challenging to keep track of who is talking.

  • In addition, I think something may have been lost in the upload. For example, p. 18 the quote is “We have a lot of people riding the bus”: Navigating Homelessness – I think this is supposed to be a heading, but if it is supposed to be a quote, it needs to be attached to a specific client/case manager. This happens again on p. 23 “He’s done with his sentence, but he could not afford to go anywhere”: Housing Impacts on Recidivism, and again on p. 27 Aspirations of Long-Term Reentry Success. There may be more.

  • P. 23 Can you clarify what is meant by “expired.”

  • P. 23 “At the time of this interview (May 2021)……………a home for her and her daughters.” – does this client have one daughter or 2, it is implied earlier that she only had one daughter, but this also could be a different client. It is unclear.

  • P. 33 “Crucially, and emphasis on successful housing….” Change “and” to “an”

  • Conclusions & Implications:

    • 1st paragraph, last sentence, remove word “has” after Research

    • 2nd paragraph, first sentence, “options available, the all of…” remove “the”

    • Paragraph 5, begins “Important conversations about the rights of returning….” The first sentence brings up access to public housing, which seems important and should be discussed, but the rest of that paragraph talks about access to legal services. Add more about access to public housing or more clearly connect public housing to legal services.

    • 2nd to last paragraph in paper – “also” is used in 3 sentences in a row, I think they all could be deleted, but again this is a personal preference.

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