Baroness Louise Casey works alongside Pact, London Housing Foundation and key senior officials to break the cycle.
The Prison Advice and Care Trust (Pact) and London Housing Foundation (LHF) have teamed up with Baroness Casey of Blackstock DBE CB to call for renewed action, and break the link between people leaving prison and ending up on the streets.
As the new probation service operating model comes into force and society unlocks, Baroness Casey, alongside the organisations, urge senior leaders in the housing and justice sectors to take the lessons learned during Covid, and plan a sustainable way forward that will reduce the number of people who leave prison only to become homeless.
Over the past months, Royal Holloway University of London has conducted research into this area – commissioned by Pact and funded by LHF. You can read the full report on the LHF and Pact websites here.
Professor Nick Hardwick, who supervised the report, said:
What this report tries to do is use existing research and data, and synthesise that so we learn from the lessons of the past. We need to take advantage of the new opportunities and ensure that in the future when prisoners leave prison they are much less likely to re-offend and can start again properly.
On 20th September, Pact and LHF will be bringing together key senior leaders in the sectors at a roundtable event hosted by Baroness Casey to discuss the findings of the research.
Baroness Casey said:
This is a very important subject for all of us involved in housing, homelessness and justice. There are many reasons for having a fresh look at reducing the number of prison leavers who end up sleeping on the streets, especially since the developments during the pandemic. This roundtable discussion will be a rare opportunity for key individuals from across the sector to discuss the implications of the report and the new system in a collaborative way and develop ideas and solutions to problems that have seemed for some time to be intractable.
Though the event will follow Chatham House rules, plans for next steps will be shared afterwards.
Pact Chief Executive, Andy Keen-Downs, said:
Working in prisons and with probation colleagues, our experience over the last 18 months has shown that for all the faults within the system, with co-ordinated action between the public and voluntary sectors, proper funding, and political will, we can massively improve access to emergency accommodation for prison leavers, and support more people from those places to longer term housing solutions. Recent funding announcements are welcomed, but if we are to drive forward a sustained reduction in homelessness and re-offending, including for those with the most complex needs, we need a long-term strategy with clear leadership.
For more information about Pact go to https://www.prisonadvice.org.uk/.