This is the second in a series of briefings that spotlights, and put forward solutions, to some of the practical challenges people face when leaving prison. In the context of wider prison and probation reforms, we believe there are some immediate steps which can be taken to improve resettlement and reduce reoffending.
Nacro supports more than 30,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the country every year, including those at different stages of contact with the criminal justice system. A lack of valid ID – such as a driver’s licence or passport – in the weeks leading up to, during and after release from prison, is seen by Nacro staff as one of the biggest obstacles people face which has an impact on their chances of moving away from crime. Without valid ID, people leaving prison can face difficulties getting a job, receiving benefit payments as a vital source of initial income to survive, or securing a safe place to stay to avoid homelessness.
Nacro believes that everyone leaving prison should have valid ID and is urging the government to take action by:
- Ensuring that every person entering prison is asked whether they have valid ID, so that accurate records can be kept to fully understand the size and nature of the problem and to respond
- Setting performance targets and allocating funding to ensure that ID is arranged prior to prison releases
- Ensuring greater clarity for those working across the criminal justice and benefits systems regarding what is accepted as valid ID, particularly for Universal Credit claims
Call for evidence
Have you worked with anyone who has struggled to obtain ID to access crucial services? We want to hear about it – please email you evidence to our Policy team.
This is the first in a series of briefings that spotlights, and put forward solutions, to some of the practical challenges people face when leaving prison. In the context of wider prison and probation reforms, we believe there are some immediate steps which can be taken to improve resettlement and reduce reoffending.
The first day of release from prison is often a race against the clock for people who must access any services they might need before these services close at the end of the day. Over a third of releases happen on a Friday. This high number, combined with the reduced services available on a Friday and over the weekend, can leave people not being able to get vital medication, having to sleep rough and having to survive on a £46 discharge grant until services reopen on Monday. We know from our experience that these factors can increase the likelihood of reoffending.
We believe there are immediate mechanisms that can be used by the Government and prison governors to prevent this and to get people released earlier in the week to give them a better chance of effective resettlement.
Call for evidence
The Government’s consultation on the future of probation states that they are continuing to explore whether Friday releases present practical difficulties.
We need your help to end Friday prison releases. Do you have further examples of the impact of Friday releases? Help us build the case and influence the Government. Please email your evidence to our Policy team.