Three prisons have been selected to pilot an innovative new scheme that is designed to help ex-offenders stay off the streets and away from crime. Partner Hannah Jones said, “These ground-breaking pilots will hopefully help prevent rough sleeping among vulnerable ex-offenders and support them as they start a new life after prison”.
Leeds, Pentonville and Bristol prisons have been chosen to spearhead the £6 million pilot programme aimed at helping vulnerable ex-prisoners find and stay in stable accommodation.Government funded research shows that those who are homeless or in temporary accommodation are significantly more likely to reoffend within a year than those with a stable place to live.
The pilots are aimed specifically at prisoners serving short sentences and who are at high risk of returning to prison. This represents the latest in a series of measures aimed at breaking the cycle of re-offending, from improving prisoners’ employment prospects to reinforcing family ties.
The sites will pilot a new partnership approach between prisons, local authorities, probation staff, charities and others who will work together to provide the support prisoners need when they are released – such as signing up for benefits – but will primarily be focused on finding them suitable accommodation.
Housing benefit top ups and rental deposits will ensure that accommodation will be provided from the day offenders leave prison, bolstered through wrap around support from key workers to address other needs which could normally cause the loss of a tenancy, such as attending appropriate probation and employment appointments.
Once the trial has been completed, it will be fully evaluated to assess the potential for the scheme to be rolled out more widely across England and Wales.
If you would like assistance in relation to a court related matter, call Hannah on 02392 820747 for further information.