Through the Gate service rated Outstanding in probation inspection
When we engage with people on our community justice mentoring programmes, we capture everything from presenting needs and their improvements to service engagement and housing destination. We took at a look at our liberation data to help us identify the number of people leaving prison without accommodation.
In plotting over 3,000 prison releases from the last six years by postcode district (eg G1 or EH1), we see the hotspots for release – over a third of releases returning to Glasgow City, Fife, North Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire or North Lanarkshire.
Changing the Visible Layer to show only liberations from HMP Polmont, we see that Fife, North Ayrshire, and Dundee City account for a third of liberation destinations.
Use the interactive map below view the data, using the option at the top to show HMP Polmont.
Based on our data of all liberations in 2018, 18% show as being released to No Fixed Address. However, we believe this is only half the story – our mentors repeatedly tell us that many more are liberated to unsuitable accommodation, so we ask ourselves what more can we do?
Our mentors tell us that often, there’s simply a lack of housing provision. They also raise concerns that prisoners are not routinely registered as homeless pre-release – something we do for our customers. They also comment that customers are unable to start their Universal Credit claim in prison, creating a delay in housing payments on release. We hope that initiatives like the pilot schemes announced for HMP Cortonvale and HMP Perth will help prisoners apply for benefits before they leave and get Universal Credit payments on the day they get out of jail.
Few organisations gather the rich set of qualitative and quantitative data we do. As part of the nationwide New Routes mentoring programme, we capture data on many aspects of the customer journey, the services customers engage with, and the progression they make. If you think there’s something we can do together to use the data to tell a story, get in touch.