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

May21 21/05/2019 00:01:00 by alex

Commenting on the HM Inspectorate of Probation report on Post-release supervision for short-term prisoners: the work undertaken by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs), Mark Day, head of policy and communications at the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“The chief inspector could not be clearer in her assessment of the failure of compulsory post-release supervision for short sentenced prisoners. While the reforms appear to have had no discernible impact on reoffending, recall rates have rocketed, disrupting lives and placing unnecessary pressure on an already overcrowded and overstretched prison system. Since its introduction, recall rates for men have increased by 29%, while for women they have risen by a shocking 166%.

“The justice secretary has signalled his willingness to follow the evidence by bringing offender management back into the public sector. He should now follow the advice of his chief inspector by ending the unfair and disproportionate mandatory supervision of short sentenced prisoners. Delivering on his aim of abolishing short prison sentences altogether would be the best and simplest solution. He also needs to persuade his colleagues around the cabinet table to invest in the housing, health and welfare support that could actually make the difference in reoffending rates that has so obviously eluded the government so far.”

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

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May16 16/05/2019 09:51:00 by alex

Commenting on today’s announcement (16 May) by the Ministry of Justice that National Probation Service will take over responsibility for all offender management, Peter Dawson, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“David Gauke’s pragmatism offers hope that the damage done to the probation system by his predecessor can eventually be repaired. Courts are crying out for a simpler system in which they can have confidence. In legislating to make these sensible changes, the Justice Secretary should take the opportunity to implement his policy to abolish pointless  short custodial sentences. He can bring to an end the nonsense of people being subject to compulsory post release supervision, which has led to an explosion in the number of people recalled to custody but done nothing to reduce re-offending.”

Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

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Mar1 01/03/2019 10:44:00 by Matt

Commenting on the National Audit Office's report on transforming rehabilitation, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“This report shows how many of the problems that have beset the probation service in recent years stem directly from the way the government chose to re-organise the system. The so-called rehabilitation revolution has actually just put more people back into prison with all the damaging consequences David Gauke set out in his speech last week.

“There is a real risk that a hurried re-tendering of those services now will gloss over those fundamental design flaws. The NAO is right to sound a warning bell, just as so many did before the original reform was implemented. As a start, the justice secretary could take the opportunity to reduce the number of people in prison by stopping the recall to custody of people who have not committed a crime that would justify such a sentence in the first place.”

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Feb27 27/02/2019 00:01:00 by Matt

Recycling Lives, a social business which enables prisoners to gain skills and qualifications to help them reduce their risk of reoffending on release, has been awarded the 2019 Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Re-integration. Recycling Lives works in 11 UK prisons and was nominated for the award for its work at HMP Wymott in Lancashire.

Set up in memory of Lord Corbett, this annual Award recognises outstanding rehabilitative work with prisoners by a charity or community group working in partnership with prison staff. It particularly seeks to recognise work that fosters personal responsibility, and which encourages people in prison, and ex-offenders, to take responsibility to help both themselves and help others.

The award also recognised A Fairer Chance, which was Highly Commended for its work at HMP East Sutton Park in Kent, and Circles South West which was Commended for its work at HMP Leyhill in Gloucestershire.

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Dec21 21/12/2018 00:01:00 by alex

The number of women recalled to prison has more than doubled since the introduction of government measures designed to support people on release, according to a new report published by the Prison Reform Trust.

The report, Broken Trust, reveals that over 1,700 women were recalled to prison in England and Wales during the last year, and that reforms which were intended to help are making things worse. Women are trapped in the justice system rather than being enabled to rebuild their lives.

The study, based on in-depth interviews conducted with 24 women, explores why increasing numbers of women are being returned to custody, and what the impact is on them and their families. It found that the threat of recall for women serving prison sentences of under 12 months is contributing to a breakdown in trust between them and the probation officers responsible for their supervision in the community.

The extension of mandatory post-custody supervision has disproportionately affected women. Recall numbers for men have risen by 22% since the changes were introduced, whilst for women they’ve grown by 131%.

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Photo credit: Andy Aitchison

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