When someone is released from prison, finding secure accommodation can be challenging because of their offending history. Left with very few options, many find themselves being placed in unsupported temporary accommodation where, without professional support, they are at risk of absconding, committing further offences, disengaging from probation, and negatively impacting other residents.
Our Targeted Referrals Partnership ensures that newly-released National Probation Service clients receive support throughout their stay in temporary accommodation, helping to reduce reoffending rates, and quicken the pace of their transition into more long-term sustainable housing. We do this by:
- Supporting high-risk probation clients in order to help them sustain their tenancies
- Connecting clients with other professional support services, including specialist health services such as mental health and substance misuse support
- Connecting and referring clients to services and wellbeing activities in the local community
- Helping clients build positive relationships with their landlords
- Encouraging continual engagement with the probation service
- Helping clients find longer-term housing
- Assisting landlords in mitigating issues and risks
This is the longest I’ve stayed out of prison ever, I’ve been out for a year now. Without such places and people like Justlife I don’t know exactly where I would be. I can see the light at the end of my tunnel, I feel much more positive about my future and I can only put it down to the help and support of Justlife.Justlife client
76 clients / professionals identified an improvement in physical or mental health, and 25 identified an improvement in their substance misuse.
physical / mental health appointments were arranged or attended by a health engagement worker.
In Brighton, we've provided health engagement work to over 700 people, resulting in a 33% reduction in unplanned hospital admissions and a 47% reduction in hospital readmission rates.
63 of our Brighton clients reported an improvement in their motivation to take responsibility for themselves going forward.
In a year, this project has helped 16 individuals, with 6 moving into secure accommodation - including 2 that were “hard to place” due to the nature of their offences.
In 2020, 100 actions have been taken to help clients access benefits and improve their health and wellbeing.
11 clients regularly engage with Justlife’s activities which give them opportunities to socialise with others and develop life skills.
Without a secure place to live in, the transition into day-to-day life and engaging in rehabilitative activities becomes more difficult. The result is that those who are released homeless are more likely to reoffend and return to prison.
Our support workers aim to minimise these risks by assessing an individual’s current situation and planning a strategy to help them progress towards more settled accommodation. This involves advocating on their behalf, meeting their individual care needs, empowering them to make positive changes to their own lives and overcoming any barriers to their adjustment to life outside of prison.
The consistency and quality of our support has also meant that landlords have greater trust in Justlife and the probation service. Many felt more comfortable with taking on higher-risk offenders because they knew they would receive the support and information they needed to manage the risks involved, and reduce any dangers to themselves and other residents. We even found new landlords who were previously unwilling to take on high-risk offenders, but with our support felt more at ease, expanding the options for people who might otherwise have faced homelessness alone.
[My support worker has] been a Godsend. When I came out of prison I was all over the place. I can’t thank her enough, she came down to the job centre with me and helped with my benefits. You people are there when I need you and that’s a great feeling.Justlife client