Prisoners' Release: Housing

Ministry of Justice written question – answered am ar 23 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Exports)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure people leaving prison have settled accommodation upon release.

Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Exports)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to help ensure prison leavers do not become homeless upon release.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is committed to preventing homelessness and works closely with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Welsh Government to do so. Prisons and probation have a statutory duty to refer someone at risk of homelessness to a local authority for assistance, and we have worked closely with DLUHC on the design and delivery of their Accommodation for Ex-Offenders scheme. We have set up a Cross-Whitehall Accommodation Board, attended by officials from MoJ, HMPPS, Welsh Government and DLUHC, to ensure collaboration across policy and operational areas. In the year to March 2023, 86% of prison leavers were in accommodation on their first night of release from custody (excluding cases where the status was unknown). This is up from 80% in 2019-20, the year immediately before our accommodation investments began.

In July 2021, we launched our groundbreaking Community Accommodation Service Tier-3 in five probation regions, to guarantee up to 12-weeks temporary accommodation to prison leavers subject to probation supervision who are at risk of homelessness on release, including those released under the End of Custody Supervised Licence measure. From April 2023, the service was expanded across all probation regions in England and Wales and continues to bring new beds online as the service embeds. By January 2023, the proportion of offenders housed on the first night of their release from custody was 7.6 percentage points higher in CAS3 regions versus non-CAS3 regions.

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