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Hundreds of people are released from prison every day, having served their time and eager for a second chance. The reality is that that second chance is a distant dream for the high numbers of people released with nowhere to live, no job and unable to buy the basics.
Shockingly, almost 1000 people are released from prison homeless or rough sleeping every month, making it almost impossible for them to get a job and put in place the other support they need.
The day of release can be a race against the clock for people as they try to find somewhere to stay, get health support, apply for benefits and see their probation officer. For people released on a Friday this can feel like an impossible challenge: with services closing for the weekend, too many are left sleeping rough, without medication or enough money until Monday. Without the right support in place, we are simply setting people up to fail.
The impact is high. Reoffending rates remain stubbornly high, with around half of people released from prison committing another crime within a year of release. For people who are released homeless the chances of reoffending are even higher.
This isn’t inevitable. By removing the barriers and providing the right support, we can give people the chance they need to create a better life for themselves and their families, and the chance to contribute to our communities.
There are simple steps we can take to make sure people leave prison with somewhere safe to live, the health support they need and enough money for the basics to get them started. The first thing we can do is stop releasing people on a Friday to give them a better chance at a second chance.
Listen to Anthony’s experience of being released on a Friday
Join us to help give everyone the best chance at a second chance