- Housing for ex-prisoners at risk of homelessness to reduce recidivism
- 12,000 offenders in England and Wales will not be allowed to go out
- Part of a government effort to prevent sleep deprivation and cut crime
Up to 12,000 inmates in England and Wales at risk of becoming homeless will be provided with temporary housing for up to 12 weeks as part of the Community Housing Services scheme.
Evidence shows that offenders in stable housing are 50 per cent less likely to commit a crime – reducing the £18billion annual cost of recidivism to society. Having an address also allows offenders to find work and receive treatment for addiction and mental health problems, while being closely monitored by the Probation Service.
The plan, which was initially rolled out in July 2021 and successfully tested in five Probation Service areas, is aimed at those newly released from prison at risk of returning to a life of crime – ultimately. is to keep the community safe and reduce recidivism.
The Minister of Prisons and Probation, Damian Hinds, said:
The initiative aims to prevent thousands of people from becoming victims each year by reducing the risk of offenders continuing to commit crimes, saving taxpayers a portion of the £18bn in recidivism costs.
Getting offenders off the streets and into temporary housing provides the foundation needed to break the crime cycle and keep communities safe.
Offenders covered by this program will be assisted to find permanent housing and will also be referred to specialist support to help them get out of drugs and go to work or training.
The latest figures show that former prisoners with stable jobs are known to be up to 9 percentage points less likely to commit a crime.
This support will be underpinned by close supervision from the Probation Service. Offenders who violate the conditions of their license can be sent back to prison.
Janet, who spent six weeks in the hostel, said:
Having a roof over my head after stepping out of the prison gates prevented me from living on the street or getting back with my ex and getting into trouble. When I was there, I gained some independence and was renting. I would not have been able to do it without the foundations provided to me by this temporary accommodation.
Today’s news is part of a broader government effort to reduce recidivism and keep communities safe. Last month marked the launch of 3 new ‘Intensive Surveillance Courts’ designed to force low-level offenders to deal with their substance problems so they can get back on a straight and collected path. narrow.
Thousands of inmates have also been helped to find jobs after their release following innovative plans such as the Employment Advisory Board, which has been deployed in 92 prisons to improve the education and training provided. . These measures have helped many inmates get more stable jobs with the latest statistics showing that the percentage of people released from prison finding a job within six months has increased from 23% to 30% since 2022.
The plan will complement the government’s landmark Rough Sleep Strategy, helping more than 7,000 at-risk releasers into private rental accommodation. The scheme is backed by more than £40 million and will help councils provide rental deposits, landlord incentives and dedicated support staff.
Ellie King, Senior Director of Housing Action Management, said:
We are extremely proud to have been involved in this program since it started and the opportunity to make a positive change in the lives of those newly released from prison. Providing a safe, supportive and stable space can help break the cycle of recidivism and this increases the chances of successful reintegration into the community.
The positive feedback we consistently receive from our welfare visits and interactions with releasers proves that this plan is making a real difference and offers hope for the future.
- The Community Accommodation program starts in July 2021 in 5 of the 12 Probation Service areas: Yorkshire and Humber, Greater Manchester, North West, East England and Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Wales added in July 2022
- The program is currently being rolled out among the remaining 6 regions: North East, East Midlands, West Midlands, South Midlands, South West and London
- From July 2021 to January 2023, statistics show that the percentage of prisoners who have a place to stay on their first night out of prison is 7.6 percentage points higher in areas with this service than in areas where this service is available. area does not exist.
- In 2019/20 (last publication before COVID), there were about 12,000 prisoners (16%) released either fast asleep or homeless