Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Judith McKay

Second Advisor

Jason Campbell

Third Advisor

Dustin B. Berna


In Broward County, Florida, over 2,600 individuals experience homelessness daily (Broward Regional Health Planning Council, 2015). Both positive and negative publicity have resulted, based on how local governments have addressed the problem using law enforcement. The typical cycle of homelessness often results in arrests for life-sustaining misdemeanor crimes that would be better suited for diversion into social services. A recent phenomenon between law enforcement and social services emerged in Broward County to help problem-solve reducing criminal recidivism of the homeless. The focus of this study was the collaboration in Broward County between law enforcement and social services to improve communication between the agencies, leading to the reduction of criminal recidivism of homeless individuals. Using a case study methodology, archival data and other documents were collected and analyzed. The study included a comparison between the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department. Both communities have significant homeless populations, both are multicultural, and both have collaborations between law enforcement and social services to address homelessness. The approaches used by the Broward Sheriff’s Office include specialized training for mental health and homeless outreach. These approaches appear to be the impetus of their successes, which show reductions of up to 21% since 2013 of their at-large (no fixed address) inmates in their jail population (Broward Sheriff’s Office, 2017). This case study suggests recommendations for law enforcement training, impacts of law enforcement collaborations with social services, and impacts of law enforcement utilizing case management systems.