Responding to the 2016 Autumn Statement today, Nacro Chief Executive, Jacob Tas, said:
“We warmly welcome the government commitment to fund 2,500 more prison officers. But while this will take time to embed, now is the time to really concentrate our energies into reducing the numbers of people being sent to prison in the first place. The overcrowded prison environment is likely to worsen existing mental health problems, or addictions or dysfunctional behaviour that are often the key drivers for offenders to commit further crimes.
“At Nacro, we provide support to people, often with complex needs, to help them overcome the many challenges they face so that they can have the stability, skills and patterns of behaviour that can help them build positive, independent futures. All too often, we see vulnerable people with mental health needs or those recently released from prison struggle to secure the stable housing they need, with various challenges including agent fees and high rent deposits acting as barriers. Therefore the government commitment to ban letting agent fees and relax restrictions upon providers to offer a range of housing types is key.
“It is crucial that supported housing services for vulnerable people, such as those delivered by Nacro, are protected. We welcome the DWP consultation on funding options for supported housing and the forthcoming Housing White Paper and look forward to working with departments to protect and boost the supply of services in this area.”