Nacro analysis shows the number of people becoming homeless on leaving prison in the East of England increased by over 40 per cent in the last year
New government data has revealed a more than 40 per cent increase in people who had become homeless on leaving prison in the East of England.
Social justice charity, Nacro, analysed the latest Statutory Homelessness Report released on September 9 and found a rise of 42.5 per cent.
Across the region, this amounted to 570 people becoming homeless on release from custody in the last year.
Campbell Robb, Chief Executive, Nacro said: “These figures show an urgent need for the government to invest in support and housing across the country for those leaving prison in the upcoming spending review.
"Leaving prison homeless increases the chance of reoffending and ends hope of rehabilitation.
"We want the government to ensure no-one leaves prison without a home to go to, giving people the best chance to get a job, rebuild relationships, and play a part in their local communities.
"This is even more important when many people leaving prison are coming out into a changed world in the grip of a global pandemic.”
Latest government data also revealed how many people in each district of Suffolk are receiving statutory homeless duties, which see the council step in to provide suitable accommodation or support for the applicant.
In East Suffolk, 1,120 households were entitled to help, with 18 of these listed as having 'Left institution with no accommodation available'.
Mid Suffolk and West Suffolk saw 258 and 913 people receive homeless help respectively. 26 of those in West Suffolk had left an institution and become homeless.
Fifty-five of the 1,827 households being helped in Ipswich were listed in the same way.
An East Suffolk Council Spokesperson said: “People leaving custody are at risk of homelessness for a number of reasons.
"They may have ended a tenancy before going into custody or they may be unable to return to family or friends due to relationship breakdowns.
"They could also already have been homeless before entering custody and need additional support for other matters, such as mental health, substance misuse or access to employment and education.
“East Suffolk Council is committed to ending homelessness and rough sleeping and we are working closely with colleagues in the Prison Service and Probation to support those leaving custody and ensuring they have suitable, and appropriate accommodation.
“We are also working alongside key partners to offer ongoing support to those placed in accommodation, helping them to reintegrate back into our communities and ensuring as few as possible return to the streets by offering long-term, sustainable solutions and support tailored to the individual.”
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “We work closely with our partners, local councils, and housing providers, to support and sign post homeless persons to accommodation and other support services so they can hopefully receive the support they need.
"These matters are extremely complex and based upon individual circumstance and need. Co-ordination between partners is vital.
“We recognise that many homeless people live with complex needs as well as mental and physical health issues such as alcohol and drug addictions which can sometimes predicate to associated antisocial behaviour and criminality in our communities.”
“If individuals decline this support and do not engage with the police and other agencies, enforcement action, such as community behaviour orders, maybe pursued to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those living in our communities.”