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National Homeless Advice Service

NHAS Learning Workshop for Offender Management Practitioners Summary

Posted by natalie_pearson January 07, 2020

NHAS, in partnership with HMPPS, ran a workshop for offender management practitioners at the Ministry of Justice in London on the 27th November 2019. The event was an opportunity for attendees to learn about the importance of accommodation in relation to reoffending, Ministry of Justice accommodation policy, the Duty to Refer Act, NHAS services and personal housing plans.

Jennet Peters, Senior Contract Manager at HMPPS, was the first speaker of the day and discussed the importance of accommodation. Jennet referred to research that shows 1 out of 7 people who left prison were homeless, and that there is a strong link between homelessness and reoffending.

Graham Mackenzie, Head of Policy, Offender Accommodation and Family Engagement at the Ministry of Justice. Graham highlighted the barriers that those with a history of offending face, including intentionality and lack of local connections, in his presentation.

Duncan Bannister, NHAS Trainer, then ran a Duty to Refer seminar for delegates emphasising that a period spent in prison does not give an offender a local connection with the area under the normal residency rules (i.e. having spent 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 out of the last 5 years in the area).

Delegates then discussed the key points that need to be addressed to make the Duty to Refer work effectively as well as some key suggestions for good practice.

Nicola Forsdyke, Senior Homelessness Advisor at MHCLG, spoke to attendees about how service capacity/access restrictions to offenders impacts the local authority’s ability to have clear plans on release.

Andy Nutley, manager of the NHAS consultancy line, gave a brief overview of all the free services NHAS can offer from training to a consultancy line, factsheets and checklists as well as wider Shelter services such as the Specialist Debt Advice Service and Shelter training.

Duncan Bannister ended the day with another training session, this time around Personal Housing Plans and young people. Duncan asked, “what makes a good, personalised housing plan?” to the delegates who then discussed their own experience and involvement with personal housing plans.

Following the event we send out a feedback survey to delegates. Below are some comments from the survey;

“It was interesting to hear Graham MacKenzie talking about pre convictions not being shared, as this is causing problems for us locally, so to have him confirming what can and cannot be shared was very useful.”

“The PHP workshop was quite eye-opening in terms of the options that could be suggested as suitable for ex-offenders.”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL EVENT REPORT HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FULL EVENT FEEDBACK SURVEY HERE