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Prisoners Release

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners were released in December 2017; and how many of those prisoners were released without having a confirmed fixed address.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Of the 5,860 prisoner releases in December 2017, 3,143 were discharged to settled accommodation. The remaining 2,717 were not known to be released to settled accommodation. A further breakdown is shown in the table below*.

Settled accommodation

Bail/probation accommodation

Rough sleeping

Other homeless

Other unsettled accommodation


Grand Total








Please note that this cohort consists of offenders released from custody in December 2017, including releases following recall, committal to custody for breach of post sentence supervision, and at sentence or post sentence supervision expiry. Data for offenders released under the supervision of London Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) are excluded due to limited accommodation data information. However, we are taking action to improve recording rates for all CRCs and have seen improvements over the past 12 months. Release on temporary licence (RoTL) and releases where the offender is subject to same-day recall to custody, are not included. Where one offender has had multiple releases over this period, each release and associated accommodation status is counted. All accommodation circumstances are recorded on a ‘first night’ basis; i.e the status that is current to the first night following release from custody.

The Government has launched a £100million initiative to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, rough sleeping across England. Through this work we will invest approximately £6 million over two years in a pilot scheme to support individuals released from three prisons, namely Bristol, Leeds and Pentonville.


  • Data relating to releases for offenders supervised by London CRC are excluded due to limited accommodation data coverage (London CRC supervised approx. 11% of releases in December 2017).

  • “Settled accommodation” means:

  • any accommodation that provides a permanent independent housing solution including as owner occupier; tenant in a tenancy available for a minimum 3 month period; living as part of a family where the Applicable Person is able to reside in that home permanently and is able to return to that home; living with a friend with a bedroom available for the Applicable Person’s use and access to domestic facilities; a caravan or boat that is viewed by the Applicable Person as his permanent home;
  • supported housing provided by an accredited housing agency that is provided for a minimum 3-month period and includes support for the Applicable Person in relation to moving to a permanent independent housing solution.
  • The definition of “settled accommodation” used in this dataset is different from the definition used for CRC Assurance Metric C (Accommodation on Release), which includes some forms of Bail and Probation Accommodation. “Bail/probation accommodation” includes probation Approved Premises, Bail Accommodation Support Services (BASS) accommodation and accommodation provided by the Home Office Immigration Enforcement Service.

  • “Other homeless” refers to individuals who identify as homeless but have not been identified as sleeping rough. In some cases, it is not recorded whether an individual that is identified as homeless is rough sleeping. These cases have been included in the “other homeless” category.

  • "Other unsettled accommodation” refers to individuals living in transient/short term accommodation that does not provide a long-term solution to housing need.

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