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Prison leavers could be housed for up to 12 weeks to cut reoffending, justice reforms reveal

Prison leavers could be supervised for longer and housed in temporary accommodation to reduce the risk of reoffending, it has been announced.

The measure forms part of a new £70 million scheme designed to support the rehabilitation of ex-offenders.

According to the plans, prisoners at risk of homelessness could be temporarily housed in “basic hostels” for up to 12 weeks and helped to find work and permanent accommodation, as well as receive treatment for any addictions or mental health problems.

It is believed the scheme will launch in five National Probation Service regions and will support around 3,000 offenders in its first year.

Some £23 million of funding will also be used to invest in 200 new spaces in Approved Premises (previously known as bail hostels) to house and closely monitor the “highest-risk offenders” in the community.

The proposals come after research revealed that offenders are 50 per cent more likely to break the law again if released without somewhere to stay. Repeat crimes reportedly cost the economy some £18 billion each year.

Commenting on the scheme, Prisons and Probation Minister Lucy Frazer said: “Releasing prisoners without addressing why they ended up there in the first place, only leads them to reoffend and cause more harm.

“By tackling homelessness, we are cutting crime, reducing drug and alcohol misuse and making our streets safer. This low-cost solution has the potential to save billions for the taxpayer and prevent thousands of people becoming victims.”

The announcement comes after the Government revealed that pre-charge bail will be reformed to better support victims of violent crime. The new legislation could see suspects charged with serious criminal offences subject to strict and lengthy bail terms.

Have you been accused of committing a crime? We help clients through all stages of the criminal justice process, from arrest to prosecution and appeal. For support, get in touch with our expert team today.

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Gurjit Singh
As a member of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS), holder of the Higher Rights of Audience (HRA) qualification and duty solicitor for the Coventry area, I regularly represent clients in a wide range of criminal cases, including road traffic offences.

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