Today, the Government released statistics which show that during the past year 7,554 people came out of prison into homelessness. This is a 38% reduction from 12,090 the previous year.
This, in part, will have been impacted by the Government’s COVID-19 Emergency Accommodation Scheme in May 2020. Comparing the last months before Covid with the same period the following year once the scheme had been introduced, there was a 46% fall in people leaving prison into homelessness.
This scheme, giving emergency funding for people at risk of homelessness to secure accommodation, has now ended.
Comment from Campbell Robb, Chief Executive, Nacro:
“No one should leave prison homeless. It can end any hope of rehabilitation and makes reoffending much more likely.
“Even during a global pandemic, with increased emergency accommodation funding, we were still seeing 630 people being released from prison homeless each month, a drop from 1,000 a month the year before. These statistics show that short-term, emergency measures can somewhat move the dial on homelessness but that what is needed to really see impact is long-term solutions and funding. Ensuring that people have a home to go to after prison gives people the best chance at a second chance; an opportunity to engage with treatment programmes, to get a job, to rebuild relationships and play a part in their local communities.
“But it takes political will.
“The homelessness schemes announced by the Government yesterday are a good start, helping 3000 people this year. But this is just a fraction of the number of people leaving prison homeless and only available in five probation regions. Too many people will still come out of prison to nothing.
“If the Government truly wants to reduce reoffending and build safer communities it must prioritise housing for people coming out of prison and commit to national and longer-term funding.”
Find out more about our #CellStreetRepeat campaign.