Prisoners' Release: Homelessness

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis Conservative, Banbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the correlation between homelessness on release from prison and reoffending rates among prisoners serving sentences of under a year.

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

Published statistics for 2017/18 showing the accommodation status for all offenders released from custody and offenders on community sentences can be viewed here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/729062/accommodation-cirumstances-tables-2018.xlsx.

Everyone leaving custody should have a safe and suitable home to go to on release.

As part of the Government initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate rough sleeping across England, we will invest up to £6.4 million in a pilot scheme to help ex-offenders into accommodation from three prisons, namely Bristol, Pentonville and Leeds. The pilots will specifically focus on male prisoners who have served shorter sentences of under 12 months, who have been identified as having a risk of homelessness.

Furthermore, as of 1 October 2018, Prisons and Probation providers have had a “Duty to Refer” anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to the Local Authority. Following a referral, Local Authorities are then required to make an assessment, meaning offenders can receive meaningful housing assistance at an earlier stage irrespective of their priority need.

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