Round up of resources for the resettlement of women prisoners
Posted on 12/04/21
Women prisoners may face extra challenges while going through the homelessness assistance system. These resources improve the understanding of their complex needs and enable effective help:
A report exploring the reasons for lack of secure housing for women on their release from prison. Also provides recommendations and showcases good practice.
This document summarises evidence of what works in reducing reoffending and keeping women safe. Resettlement and achieving stable housing are listed as one of the priority targets.
The Strategy was launched in 2018 to improve outcomes for female offenders and make society safer by tackling the underlying causes of offending.
This review highlights the importance of appropriate housing and strengthening family relationships to prevent reoffending.
The framework provides gender specific guidance for prison and probation staff on how to manage and support women in custody and the community, including the duty to refer under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
The National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS) advises on positive steps and good practice in preventing homelessness and improving access to housing for offenders and their families.
NHAS guide for frontline advisers supporting single people who make a homeless application and face issues around priority need.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) guide for public authorities outlines the procedures for referring someone to a local authority.
This guidance complements the duty to refer guidance and provides practical suggestions on developing and implementing prison release protocols.
Government guidance detailing duties under the Homelessness Reduction Act to reduce homelessness and support rehabilitation. Includes flowcharts and step-by-step guide.
Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities advises on how local authorities should exercise their homelessness functions. Guidance on providing homelessness services to people with an offending history is in chapter 23.
Shelter Legal provides an online guide to housing law.
Shelter provides online advice and information for members of the public.
NHAS specialist advisers support with housing, homelessness, housing debt and benefits queries. The advisers assist professionals with questions via webchat or over the telephone on 0300 330 0517, available Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.
Please note: staff working in prisons are prohibited from using webchat services whilst within the prison.
NHAS mailing list allows members to stay up to date with legal updates, upcoming training and events.
NHAS training offers a variety of continuously updated free webinars, bitesize e-learning courses, and face to face courses. Current topics relevant for the resettlement of women prisoners include:
- duty to refer
- understanding homelessness vulnerability
- understanding homelessness and housing – local authority duties
- domestic abuse and complex needs (introductory)
Women in Prison supports women affected by the criminal justice system and campaigns to end the harm caused to women and their families by imprisonment.
Nacro helps people in custody or with an offending history to reintegrate into society, helping with housing, mental health and substance misuse issues.
Hibiscus supports foreign nationals, and black, minority ethnic and refugee groups serving a custodial sentence or released into the community.
No Recourse to Public Funds Network safeguards the welfare of destitute families, adults and care leavers who are unable to access benefits due to their immigration status.
Housing First is a housing and support approach which gives people a stable home from which to rebuild their lives and provides intensive, person-centred, and holistic support.