Ex-prisoners are more likely to reoffend if they are homeless. In 2016, approximately two thirds of the adult prisoners released and facing this predicament, reoffended within a year.
People released with no place to stay, are less likely to be able to secure jobs or have access to healthcare, education and crucial rehabilitation services, thereby increasing the probability of re-entering into criminality. Homelessness can also lead to addiction, vulnerability and feeling isolated. It is tragic that people are resorting to re-committing crimes for the warmth, food, shelter and safety of prison life. Many single homeless people who have been incarcerated, have been considered intentionally homeless under the Homelessness Reduction Act.
Prisons should serve to rehabilitate offenders and help them recover. This process must continue after an offender's release. The long-term rehabilitation of prisoners, as well as the reduction and prevention of reoffending, can only be achieved if the root of the problems is addressed. More must be done to ensure every released prisoner has access to secure accommodation and support, in order to build stable lives. The successful reintegration of ex-prisoners into society, will not just help them prosper, but will also reduce the number of potential victims of crime.
(BAME Labour Representative, Justice and Home Affairs Commission)