Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Four in five ex-offenders who are homeless are reconvicted within a year, a new study has found.
Via Homeless Link
The study from Homeless Link, the umbrella organisation representing the homelessness sector, called on more joined up action from those involved in housing to tackle the lack of accommodation for ex-offenders.
The report also said that there should be more training on housing issues for criminal justice workers. Nearly half of the respondents working in the sector said they would benefit from such training, while more than a third of homelessness providers also wanted training to understand the issue.
The survey of 400 staff and 75 clients also found strong links between homelessness, addiction and prison. Almost two thirds of adults using homelessness or drug services had spent time in prison, child care or other institutions, it found, while 20 per cent of homelessness service clients are in contact with probation.
Alice Evans, head of policy analysis at Homeless Link, said: ‘While our research has uncovered localised pockets of good practice, the majority of experiences show there is a need for agencies to work together more closely to prevent people who have previously offended and are now homeless falling deeper into the cycle of homelessness and reoffending.
‘We are calling for the homeless and criminal justice sectors to provide services that complement each other, both on a national and local level. With greater financial pressures and a shift towards localism, joint approaches will prove crucial in meeting our shared aims of reducing reoffending and homelessness.’