Prisoners' Release: Housing

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 13th September 2021.

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Photo of Ellie Reeves Ellie Reeves Shadow Solicitor General

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the suitability of housing arrangements for inmates who do not have housing upon leaving prisons.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Having stable accommodation can prevent offenders committing further crimes. To ensure offenders are not homeless upon release, HMPPS has developed a Community Accommodation Service (CAS) so that people leaving prison can access suitable accommodation. CAS brings Approved Premises (AP), Bail Accommodation and Support Service (BASS), and a new provision of transitional accommodation together under the auspices of one accommodation system.

As a whole system, CAS enables accommodation to be provided that is suitable to an offender’s risk level and circumstances. AP house high-risk offenders with a strict curfew and CCTV inside and out to monitor behaviour. BASS provides accommodation to those released on bail or Home Detention Curfew without otherwise suitable accommodation. These combine with the new provision of temporary accommodation and support for those leaving prison at risk of homelessness, introduced in July. Initially launched in five probation areas in England, the service will support around 3,000 offenders in its first year and will provide up to 12 weeks of temporary accommodation and will be supported into long-term settled accommodation before the end of that 12-week period.

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