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£70 million investment in accommodation for prison leavers

Government investment plan to reduce crime

12 February 2021
£70 million investment in accommodation for prison leavers

The government has announced an investment of £70 million into accommodation and wider support for prison leavers. This is the second part of the £220 million government investment plan to reduce crime and protect the public and follows the announcement of a £148 million investment to combat illegal drug supply and treat addictions.

More than £20 million will be used to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness into temporary accommodation for up to 12 weeks. Launching in five of the 12 National Probation Service regions, it is projected to support around 3,000 offenders in its first year. Offenders will also be helped in finding a permanent home. Stable accommodation provides a necessary platform to find work and access treatment for addictions and mental health problems and is proven to help reduce the risk of reoffending.

At least £23 million will go towards the government’s plans to build 200 new spaces in Approved Premises, which allow probation staff to closely monitor and support the highest-risk offenders in the community. It will also fund new training for staff, increased security, and vital repairs and maintenance. The expansion will see an extra 1,700 prison leavers receive closer supervision each year.

A further £6 million is to be spent on reducing reoffending in the coming year. Dedicated staff will be appointed in an initial eleven prisons to act as brokers for prisoners so that they can get quicker access to accommodation, healthcare and employment services as they are released.

The £20 million Prison Leavers Project is also underway, bringing together charities as well as public and private partners to identify and test new ways to prepare offenders for life after leaving prison and to ensure they don’t return to crime. Local organisations will be able to bid for grants to join-up their existing services and a £1 million competition is being launched to encourage start-ups to create new technology-based support services.

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