12% of prisoners released from custody in 2012/13 had no settled accommodation.

A lack of accommodation can also severely hinder former prisoners’ chances of finding employment. Almost one quarter of employers would not consider employing a homeless person.

Getting ex-prisoners into stable housing can act as a gateway to effective resettlement. Home Office research has found that prisoners who have accommodation arranged on release are four times more likely to have employment, education or training arranged than those who do not have accommodation in place.

A study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that ex-offenders are the most disadvantaged of all the labour market. In 2010 only 12% of employers surveyed said that they had employed somebody with a criminal record in the past three years.

Around one in five employers (19%) said they did exclude or were likely to exclude ex-offenders from the recruitment process. In 2005, more than one in three (37%) employers said that they deliberately exclude those with a criminal record when recruiting staff.

latest news and publications

Feb18 18/02/2020 00:01:00 by alex

This briefing provides an overview of the evidence on women’s employment opportunities and barriers, considers the national policy context, profiles good practice, and makes recommendations to accelerate progress. Drawing on the experiences and insights of women themselves and the organisations that support them, its purpose is to inform policy and practiceand improve employment outcomes for women in contact with the criminal justice system.

Feb17 17/02/2020 17:00:00 by alex

A new briefing, Working It Out, published today by the Prison Reform Trust and Working Chance, reveals that fewer than one in 20 women (4%) were in employment six weeks after release from prison, compared with over one in 10 men (11%).

The briefing found that despite government recognition that employment for those who have been in trouble with the law is critical for reducing reoffending, too many women with a criminal conviction experience barriers to employment and do not receive adequate support. Enabling women to achieve financial independence is especially important for those whose offending is driven by abusive and coercive relationships.

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Jan22 22/01/2020 08:00:00 by alex

Measures which seek to increase the automatic release point from halfway to the two-thirds point for adults convicted of certain offences should be paused to allow proper public scrutiny according to a new analysis of the government's Impact Assessment published by the Prison Reform Trust today.

The briefing, published on the same day that The Release of Prisoners (Alteration of Relevant Proportion of Sentence) Order 2019 is due to be debated in the House of Lords, will profoundly change the sentencing framework for serious offences, but has been subject to almost no meaningful scrutiny.

Government forecasts reveal that an additional 2,000 prison places will be needed, with a one-off capital cost of £440m and a permanent recurring annual cost of £70m at today’s prices—with no evidence that the measures will reduce better protect the public; provide greater public confidence; or improve understanding of increasingly complicated sentencing legislation.

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Oct1 01/10/2019 00:01:00 by alex

Commenting on today's (1 October) announcement by Robert Buckland that he will legislate to increase the custodial period served for some sentences, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said:

“This is no way to make sentencing policy. There has been no review worthy of the name. In cases where the risk to the public is high, judges already have the power to do everything the Lord Chancellor says he wants. And sentencing for serious crime has already become dramatically more severe under every government this century. Yet despite all of that, the research evidence is that the public thinks sentencing is softer than it really is.

“But telling the truth about what’s actually happened on sentencing, and leaving judges free to consider the facts of the individual case, doesn’t win votes. This is the worst sort of politics—one day in the limelight paid for by decades of injustice to come.”

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

Sep19 19/09/2019 00:01:00 by alex

Commenting on the report published today (19 September) by HM Inspectorate of Probation, Service user involvement in the review and improvement of probation services, Paula Harriott, Head of Prisoner Engagement at the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“This important research shows the immense value of involving the people who know most about what works to reduce re-offending. That’s the people under supervision who have to navigate a system that sometimes seems designed to make it difficult to succeed. Whatever else the next re-organisation of probation does, it must build in a requirement to use the expertise that comes from lived experience. The report gives many examples of the benefits that will bring in terms of safer communities and lives put back on track. The Inspectorate deserves congratulations for highlighting the issue and for its promise to use lived experience much more fully in its own way of working.”

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

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