United Kingdom

Former prisoners will get £13m taxpayer help to rent a flat 'in bid to cut reoffending'

Offenders will be given taxpayer-backed help to find flats to rent on release from prison, under government plans to be launched today.

Town halls are to share £13million to pay for schemes that will include lending offenders the money to put down a deposit on renting a home.

Ministers say the move is vital to prevent homelessness, which can increase a person’s chances of reoffending by 50 per cent compared with someone who moves into proper accommodation.

Town halls are to share £13million to pay for schemes that will include lending offenders the money to put down a deposit on renting a home (file image)

The help comes on top of a separate scheme by the Probation Service to accommodate around 3,000 prison leavers in hostels a year.

Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland said: ‘The combination of strong supervision from probation staff and support into treatment, a home and a job will drive down crime. It gives offenders the incentive and opportunity to break the cycle of repeat offending and will save thousands of law-abiding people from becoming victims.’

The type of help offered by councils will vary across the country. It could include providing loans so that prison leavers can put down a deposit on a rental.

Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland (pictured) said: ‘The combination of strong supervision from probation staff and support into treatment, a home and a job will drive down crime'

Other schemes are to pay for dedicated staff in councils who will help offenders find accommodation in the private sector. Landlords could receive incentives for taking on someone just out of prison. But offenders are not being moved to the front of the queue for social housing.

Mr Buckland said the Government planned to recruit 1,000 ex-offenders who have turned their back on crime into the civil service by the end of 2023. Employment is known to cut reoffending rates, with a job providing former offenders with incentives to live a crime-free life.

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