Released prisoners to get housing help

The Home Office plans to help offenders find accommodation on
release from prison, a conference on mental health provision for
young offenders heard last week.

An action plan will establish regional strategies to work alongside
the new sentencing framework and the proposed National Offenders
Management Service.

The move is a response to research by the Social Exclusion Unit
last year that found stable accommodation after release reduced the
risk of reoffending by a fifth.

The study also revealed that there was “no system for continuous
rehabilitation” after leaving jail, delegates were told by Julian
Corner, the new chief executive of the Revolving Doors Agency,
which is concerned with mental health and the criminal justice

But there was a question whether the new plans would meet the needs
of young offenders, said Corner, a former lead on the action plan.
He hoped 18- to 20-year-olds would be a priority for accommodation.

Prisons minister Paul Goggins said that the government was
committed to preventing young offenders with acute needs being held
inappropriately in jails and was increasing the number of units for
young people with acute mental health problems.

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