This study starts from the recent identification of an association between offending and accommodation needs though OASys –the standardised assessment system now used by the Probation Service. It reviews available literature in order to discover what light can be shed on this association. In OASys, accommodation needs include ‘no fixed abode’, ‘transient’ or ‘unsuitable’ accommodation, lack of ‘permanent’ accommodation and ‘unsuitable location’ (meaning close to criminal associates or potential victims) –clearly a range of problems that are not necessarily connected or similar. This ‘umbrella’ term makes for a fascinating but somewhat unpredictable journey through a disparate terrain.
The coverage of a review is dependent on its sources. Though a search for international sources has been made, literature on the relationship between accommodation needs and offending is not easy to locate outside North America, Australia and the UK. This review of literature is set in the context of offending and social policy in these countries, which present interesting contrasts as well as shared characteristics.