Ex-offenders

Significant numbers of ex-offenders face homelessness. Statistics have shown a higher incidence of people without settled accommodation amongst those who receive both custodial and non-custodial sentences. There is also evidence from hostels showing significant proportions of ex-offenders amongst applicants and residents.

People who are sent to prison often lose their accommodation, because of inability to pay rent whilst inside, family break-up and associated loss of home, or other reasons. Many prisoners have nowhere to go on release, and unemployment and support needs around a range of other problems can make finding and maintaining accommodation difficult. Housing is a key component in resettlement of prisoners and settled accommodation is often a vital component in avoiding a return to crime. The Homelessness Act 2002 recognised that prisoners were at particular risk of becoming homeless and has stipulated that local authorities must include ex-prisoners amongst those who may be in priority need.

Offenders with mental health problems face particular difficulties in finding and keeping accommodation. Research shows that some mentally vulnerable and homeless people get trapped in a "revolving door" - a cyclical pattern of recurring homelessness, hospital admissions, arrests and possible imprisonment. Revolving Doors Agency publications examine the particular housing problems faced by ex-offenders with mental health problems.

In some areas, there are specialist hostels and housing projects for ex-offenders, and other hostels have bedspaces reserved for ex-offenders and probation referrals. Nonetheless, there are relatively few projects that will accept serious offenders. In particular, sex offenders and people convicted of arson find obtaining hostel or other accommodation extremely difficult.

Homeless Link’s recent briefing with information on the relationship between homelessness and criminal justice, and the housing options and other support for ex-offenders: Policy Briefing: Criminal Justice. Homeless Link's website has further information about offending.
 

Titlesort icon Author Publisher Year
A Four-point Manifesto for Tackling Multiple Needs and Exclusions Making Every Adult Matter Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) 2009
A Year in Prison St Mungo's St Mungo's 2002
Accommodation for ex-offenders: Third sector housing advice and provision Gojkovic, G., Mills, A. and Meek, R. 2012
Accommodation Needs and Experiences of Young People Who Offend Youth Justice Board Youth Justice Board 2007
Accommodation, homelessness and reoffending of prisoners: Results from the Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR) survey Williams, K. Williams, J. and Hopkins, K. Ministry of Justice 2012
Accommodation, homelessness and reoffending of prisoners: Results from the Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction survey Wiliams, K., Poyser, J., and Hopkins, K. Ministry of Justice 2012
Aiming Higher: A Good Practice Guide Revolving Doors Agency Revolving Doors Agency 2010
An Accommodation Self Assessment Toolkit for the Socially Excluded Adults Public Service Agreement Communities and Local Government Communities and Local Government 2009
An Assessment of the Need for Psychiatric Bail Provision in Inner London Kennedy, Keyes and Truman Revolving Doors Agency 1994
Anti Social Behaviour Intensive Support Service: An Interim Evaluation Stafford, Jeremy Elmore Community Services 2009
Blocking the Fast Track from Prison to Rough Sleeping Communities and Local Government Communities and Local Government 2000
Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders Ministry of Justice Ministry of Justice 2010
Building Bridges into Employment and Training for Ex-offenders York Publishing Services (YPS) York Publishing Services (YPS) 1998
Camden and Islington Service Mapping Final Report Keyes, Scott and Truman Revolving Doors Agency 1998
Case for Change Revolving Doors Agency Revolving Doors Agency 2010
Climbing Everest Naked Chandler, Tracey and Cresdee, Sarah University of Brighton: Health and Social Policy Research Centre 2008
Ex-Offenders Survey - Summary Northern Ireland Housing Executive Northern Ireland Housing Executive 2005
Finding a Home Nacro Nacro 2003
Finding and sustaining a home in the Private Rented Sector: The essentials Luby, J. and Gallaher, J. 2012
Finding Support After Arrest Revolving Doors Agency Revolving Doors Agency 1999