Everyone leaving custody should have a safe and suitable home to go to on release; having somewhere to live gives people a stable platform from which to access health services, hold down a job and reduces the likelihood of them reoffending. While statutory responsibility for housing (including planning) and homelessness lies with local authorities in England, and with the Welsh Assembly in Wales, we are committed to working with other departments to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.
There has been a gradual flow of referrals from prisons and probation providers since the commencement of the ‘Duty to Refer’ on 1 October 2018. Between 1 October and 30 June: 926 referrals made by probation staff were recorded on the probation operational database, NDELIUS; 613 referrals made by prison staff were recorded on the prison operational database, P-NOMIS.
Over the coming months we will be re-promoting the duty ten months on from commencement, while reviewing the guidance issued to reflect lessons learnt.