Invisible Victims: Homelessness and the Growing Security Gap

Invisible Victims: Homelessness and the Growing Security Gap

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By Laura Huey
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2012
World Rights
192 Pages 9 Images
ISBN 9781442611764
Published May 2012
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ISBN 9781442643284
Published May 2012
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442663749
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Despite Western society's preoccupation with safety and protection, its most vulnerable members still lack access to the level of security that many of us take for granted. In this trailblazing study, Laura Huey illustrates the issue of a ‘security gap’ faced by increasing homeless populations: while they are among the most likely victims of crime, they are also among the least served by existing forms of state and private security.

Invisible Victims presents the first comprehensive, integrated study of the risks faced by homeless people and their attempts to find safety and security in often dangerous environments.  Huey draws not only on current debates on security within criminology, but also on a decade’s worth of her own field research on the victimization and policing of the homeless. A theoretically and empirically informed examination of the myriad issues affecting the homeless, Invisible Victims makes a compelling case for society to provide necessary services and, above all, a basic level of security for this population.

Laura Huey is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario.

Introduction: The Invisible Victim

Chapter 1 Security and Citizenship

Chapter 2 Homelessness and Criminal Victimization

Chapter 3 State-based Security

Chapter 4 Self-protection Strategies

Chapter 5 Security through Others

Chapter 6 Security and the Homeless Citizen

Chapter 7 Equalizing Security

Appendix: Research Methods


‘Presenting a wide range of material in a highly readable, accessible manner, Invisible Victims will appeal to a diverse readership, including policymakers and practitioners involved in welfare and criminal justice agencies. Particularly engaging is the wealth of ethnographic detail that Laura Huey provides from her own fieldwork, which she integrates very well with commentary on and analysis of the relevant academic literature.’

Julia Wardhaugh, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Bangor University

Invisible Victims is a significant contribution to research on homelessness, victimization, and security. By featuring the voices of homeless citizens, as well as police and service providers, from cities ranging from San Francisco to Toronto to Edinburgh, Laura Huey brings the topic to life for researchers, students, and general readers.’

Gregg Barak, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Eastern Michigan University

‘Thought-provoking and very readable book.’

Stephen Metraux, European Journal of Homelessness, vol 6:02:2012