Youth Justice Board critical of housing services for young offenders

Young offenders are at significant risk of homelessness but housing services are failing to meet their needs, a Youth Justice Board report out today has revealed.

It found 40 per cent of a sample of over 150 young offenders had been homeless or sought formal housing support, and had had an average of 2.7 moves during a 12-month period.

Of those who had been homeless, almost 70 per cent had felt depressed and almost half had experienced hunger.

However, in nine of 10 areas examined by researchers, stakeholders, such as council children’s services, youth and homelessness charities, felt there was insufficient accommodation for young offenders.

YJB board member Chris Holmes said: “We already know that a lack of stable accommodation severely damages the chances of a young person getting their life back on track. This research shows that there are also risks to their health and that their circumstances often put them in danger.”

The research was carried out by rehabilitation agency Nacro and Middlesex University. Paul Cavadino, chief executive of Nacro, said: “The report shows that many vulnerable and homeless young offenders receive wholly inadequate help from social and housing agencies.  This situation is a blight on a civilised society.

“There is a serious lack of suitable housing for vulnerable young people, who not only need a roof over their heads, but also a huge amount of support to successfully live independently.”



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