Sacramento County, California

Reducing homeless-related crime with a research based, data-driven collaboration

Sacramento Sheriff's Car at Community Event

Sacramento Police Badge

Site LE Agency
Sacramento Sheriff’s Office

Site Researcher
Arturo Baiocchi, Ph.D., and Keith Hodson, California State University Sacramento

Site Focus
Homelessness

SPI Strategy
Place-based policing, Problem-oriented policing

Site Cohort
2016

Site Profile
Large, urban area of 964.64 sq. miles with a population of 1,501,335

Project Overview

Approximately one-third (948) of Sacramento County’s homeless population is unsheltered. Particularly noteworthy differences between 2013 and 2015 counts include a 7.9 percent increase in chronically homeless individuals and a 20.6 percent increase in unsheltered single adults. There has been a surge in criminal activity among homeless persons in Sacramento County as a result of numerous factors. For instance, new legislation led to the release of lower lever offenders into the communities, many of whom are living on the streets. Increased homelessness is also the result of rapidly rising housing prices that make it difficult for persons with limited skills, social, emotional, behavioral or substance use issues to secure housing. Homeless-related crimes vary but include (and are not limited to): chronic public intoxication, panhandling, loitering, trespassing, shoplifting, dealing drugs, and more. The Sacramento SPI team is seeking to develop research-based, innovative, data-driven approaches to homeless-related crime challenges currently confronting the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department.

Data Highlight

  • On a single night at the end of January 2015 in Sacramento County, approximately 2,650 individuals experienced homelessness. This compared with 2,538 individuals counted in 2013 and represented an increase of 4.7 percent.
  • There was a 7.9 percent increase in chronically homeless individuals and a 20.6 percent increase in unsheltered single adults between 2013 and 2015.