To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to page 10 of the Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) in England 2019-20 annual report, published by Independent Monitoring Boards in June 2021, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the timely provision of accommodation and support for looked after young people and prison leavers, especially for those released after their 18th birthday by local authorities.
For children and young people leaving custody, it is vital for accommodation to be arranged sufficiently in advance of their release date and we are implementing a range of measures to improve the timeliness of accommodation provision. The Youth Custody Service is reforming resettlement planning in the four public sector Young Offender Institutions to ensure that planning begins at the start of a child’s sentence, which will improve the timeliness of arrangements for accommodation and wider resettlement support. In addition, the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the Department for Education and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, is exploring additional options to improve the timeliness and suitability of accommodation provision for children and young people leaving custody.
Young people released after their 18th birthday will have access to temporary accommodation through our £20 million investment package for prison leavers at risk of homelessness. Accommodation will be provided for up to 12 weeks alongside support into long-term settled accommodation. This initiative will support 3,000 young people and adults leaving custody in its first year.