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Prisoners' Release: Homelessness

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Women and Equalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many individuals serving custodial sentences were released homeless in 2018.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

It is vital that everyone leaving prison has somewhere safe and secure to live. Having somewhere stable to live acts as a platform for ex-offenders to be able to access the services and support needed to turn their back on crime for good. In 2017/18, 2,690 prisoners were released to rough sleeping and 8,139 were released to other forms of homelessness, together accounting for 15.8% of the total number of releases (68,632).

Published statistics for 2017/18 showing the accommodation status for offenders released during this period can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/community-performance-quarterly-mi-update-to-march-2018

Statistics covering 2018/19 will be published on 25 July 2019. As part of the Government initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate rough sleeping across England, we are investing up to £6.4 million over two years in a pilot scheme to help ex-offenders into accommodation from three prisons, namely Bristol, Pentonville and Leeds. The pilots will focus on male prisoners who have served shorter sentences, who have been identified as having a risk of homelessness. Contracts have now been awarded in the three areas and, following a mobilisation period, we expect services to commence in Summer of this year. This is a concrete step in our commitment to tackling rough sleeping.

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