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6 out of 10 women leave prison homeless
A new report from the Safe Homes for Women Leaving Prison initiative exposes a failing system that leaves thousands of women released from UK prisons with just £46, a plastic bag, nowhere to live and the threat of a return to custody if they miss their probation appointment.

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Safe Homes for Women Leaving Prison

Nearly six out of ten women leaving prison have nowhere safe to go. Many women are released with just £46, a plastic bag, nowhere to live and threat of recall if they miss their probation appointment. In so many ways the consequences are catastrophic for the women concerned, their families and for society.

That is the conclusion of a new report from the Safe Homes for Women Leaving Prison initiative which exposes a failing system that leaves thousands of women released from UK prisons with just £46, a plastic bag, nowhere to live and the threat of a return to custody if they miss their probation appointment.

 

The initiative is a unique collaboration of London Prisons Mission, Prison Reform Trust, the Church of St Martins in the Fields and HMP & YOI Bronzefield. It is calling for urgent action by actors across the criminal justice system to combat failings that result in 6 in 10 women released from prison, many of them suffering from multiple vulnerabilities, without access to safe and secure housing.

Between 2019 and 2020, 65% of men and women released from prison without settled accommodation had reoffended according to an HMI Probation report.

Lack of secure housing is a significant barrier to successful rehabilitation. This makes securing employment, maintaining positive mental health and preventing a return to harmful behaviour such as substance abuse practically unachievable.

Many women in contact with the criminal justice system have complex needs resulting from past trauma, abuse, poverty and addiction and are unable to return to their former accommodation as this would put them immediately at risk.

The current situation is bleak. However, it does not need to be this way. The Safe Homes for Women Leaving Prison initiative, a unique collaboration of London Prisons Mission, Prison Reform Trust, the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields and HMP & YOI Bronzefield has set out a number of vital recommendations for reform.

Why are so many women prisoners released into homelessness? 

The 2017 Homelessness Reduction Act gives prisons a ‘duty to refer’ anyone at risk of homelessness on release to their local authority. However, the report finds the Act is failing. Reasons include:

  • Too many short prison sentences that result in women losing their accommodation 
  • Many women need to be rehoused with their children as they are often a primary carer.
  • The need for many women to relocate due to domestic abuse 
  • A chronic lack of suitable social housing, including for women with complex needs 
  • Many women are imprisoned far from their previous address so lose their ‘local connection’.

Key recommendations 

The recommendations in the report are the result of extensive consultation with policy makers and local authority representatives; service providers; housing experts; charities and voluntary organisations; and women with lived experience of the criminal justice system. They include:

  • A national cross-government strategy to address the housing needs of those in the criminal justice system, including specific measures for women
  • A review of the ‘duty to refer’ measure 
  • An agreed target time period for women to be in settled accommodation post release 
  • Designating responsibility for arranging a woman’s accommodation on release from prison 
  • Increasing the prison discharge grant to £80, the level provided as part of the End of Custody Temporary Release scheme implemented in response to Covid-19.

Conclusion 

The link between access to safe and secure accommodation and reducing the vulnerability of women released from prison as well as their risk of reoffending is undeniable. It is vital to the welfare of thousands of women released from prison each year. The most pressing need is for a national strategy with adequate resources and joined up working between central and local government to ensure the provision of Safe Homes for women leaving prison.

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2 Responses

  1. I would love to see more speaclist trauma housing set up for women on release from prison as homeless sector often leaves women more at risk of exploitation as often they can be targeted and end up in unsafe exploitive relationships we need more safe secure accommodation with staff who can support women with mutiple disadvantages who understand there risks and can support women to safety plan and reconnect with their children x

  2. Stolen Lawsuit Money
    Human Trafficking
    I, Rita Geiger, won a lawsuit in the amount of $5 million, years ago. I have been trying to receive my stolen lawsuit money for more than 7 years, 9 months. I have moved from PA to NV due to the fact that I had stalkers follow me everywhere I went in PA. I also had listening devices and cameras in my apartment. I have been threatened by PA Judge Ida Chen and PA Senator Christine Tartaglione with My Life and My Lawsuit Money which was stolen by Judge Ida Chens assistant. Judge Ida Chen had me in her courtroom for a divorce and tried to involve me in Human Trafficking with what she calls 4 of her guys. I did not cooperate. Since then she has tried to destroy my life for her 4 guys. When I was in that judges courtroom for my divorce she told me that I was going to marry a man named Tom Kenny who worked for the court system. After that she involved a man named Vincent S Talotta and then a man named Salvatore Accardo and then her assistant Jack Kelly aka Mr. Daymond. They all work for the Philadelphia Family Court. When she involved her assistant she kept threatening me that I was going to marry him. She called my house, and came on my job with her 4 guys threatening me that I was going to marry Jack Kelly aka Mr. Daymond. Since then her and her 4 guys have been stalking me, harassing me and stealing from me by using a Remote Neural Monitor. This is Gang Stalking and Interstate Stalking and has been going on for more than 24 years. As of today I still have not received my stolen lawsuit money. Due to this fact I spent more than 4 months in the hospital. I have had to sleep in my car. I also have been surrounded by Drug Addicts, Alcoholics, Prisoners and Mental People. If I had my stolen lawsuit money none of this would have ever happened. I lived in the same apartment for approximately 15 years. I worked at the same place of employment for at least 15 years. There is no reason why the attorney could not bring my stolen lawsuit money to me or no reason why they could not contact me as I had the same phone number for 15 years as well. Involved are people from the Philadelphia Family Court System. Also involved are family members who I do not see or speak to and people who work at H & R Block. Names addresses and phone numbers will be furnished upon request. On February 5, 2018, I was evicted from my apartment and was out on the street for 11 months. My life is in danger. They have ruined my perfect credit and as of today no one has given me my stolen lawsuit money or has had anyone arrested. I am willing to press charges on everyone involved. When will something be done about the theft of my 5 million dollars?
    Stolen Lawsuit Money Human Trafficking Gang Stalking Interstate
    Motive: $5,000,000. Lawsuit
    My name is Rita Geiger and I have been Gang Stalked by Judge Ida Chen from Pennsylvania for the past 24 years. Her Gang Members who have been stalking me for the past 24 years are as follows, Senator Christine Tartaglione, Vincent S Talotta, who repeatedly names my doctors and should not know any of their names. Tom Kenny, Jack Kelly also known as Mr. Daymond, along with his girlfriend Judy, Salvatore Accardo and Anthony Rossi. An unknown person who claims he will blow my head off. This unknown person is also making lewd comments about girls. During the past 7 years, 9 months, with a motive to take my $5,000,000. from me are as follows. Thomas P. Geiger, my exhusband, Divorced 2002. He brought in members of his family who are as follows, Paulina Geiger, Nicolette Geiger, who when I spoke to her claims, she did not know what I was talking about, nothing further was ever said, she continues to Gang Stalk me. She also has her boyfriends Gang Stalking me. Caroline Geiger, who is knowingly and willingly committing the crime of Gang Stalking believing she can actually commit this crime with no consequenses stating Judge Ida Chen is involved. Bill Geiger, who thinks he has a right to Gang Stalk me and is sitting there with his wife, making rude remarks to me. Also there is Bob Geiger and James Geiger, I have not seen these people for 30 years. Also involved is Rita Chieffo, who when I told her numerous times I was being Gang Stalked and had Lawsuit Money in the amount of $5,000,000. she acted like I was Mental, yet she continues to Gang Stalk me. Eugene Chieffo, and people from H & R Block who include Frank Russo, Barbara Willamen and Rosemarie Maribello. Neighbor Nikki Liberty. These people watch everything I do and make comments. They even watch me go to the bathroom. They also announce what medicines I take.
    Judge Ida Chen has stolen from me for the past 24 years. This would include any Child Support, Alimony, Attorney Fees and Divorce Settlement that should have been paid to me and never was. When I went to the Court System to see Tom Kenny, instead of him being there, there was an Imposter who introduced himself as Tom Kenny and was not, I will be able to identify that man.
    My Lawsuit Money is from me suing the City of Philadelphia and should have been paid to me in 2004. The person who should have given it to me is Salvatore Accardo. For some reason I was told that Jack Kelly also known as Mr. Daymond stole it and has never given it to me. He works for Judge Ida Chen as her assistant and has been Gang Stalking me for the past 24 years.
    If any further damage happens to me , above are the people to look at for any damage caused and my Lawsuit Money that does not belong to any of them.

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