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Prisoners' Release: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 54062, tabled on 3 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) young adult, (b) other female and (c) other male prison leavers have been released during the covid-19 outbreak without an address to go to.

Answered on

12 June 2020

We are working closely across Government to ensure that all individuals released at risk of homelessness receive necessary support to help them secure somewhere to live.

We have invested an additional £22m per annum over the remaining life of the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) contracts to deliver an enhanced Through the Gate resettlement service to people leaving prison to prepare them for release. The enhanced service includes the requirement that CRCs complete specific, tailored, tasks to help prisoners to secure and maintain settled accommodation, gain employment and manage debt and their financial affairs. We have put in place an ‘Exceptional Delivery Model’ (EDM) for CRC services during the current Covid-19 crisis, and have established seven National Probation Service and CRC Homelessness Prevention Taskforce Teams. There are six in England and one in Wales.

Additionally, Government has now decided that because of public health concerns and public protection considerations, there is a need to provide accommodation for a larger cohort of prison leavers. The Ministry of Justice has secured appropriate funding for a time-limited period to support the provision of accommodation for all individuals released from prison at risk of homelessness. The scheme will run until 26th June at which point it will be reviewed, taking account of the situation at that time.

The table below provides the number of offenders released from custody by accommodation circumstance on the first night. The data covers the period 23 March- 30 April 2020.

Offenders Released from custody

Rough sleeping

Other Homeless***

Unknown accommodation circumstance

Young Adults*





Other Males**





Other Females**





*Young adults are offenders between 18 and 24

** Other male and females are offenders 25 and over

*** “Other homeless” refers to individuals who identify as homeless but have not been identified as sleeping rough. In some cases, it is not recorded whether an individual that is identified as homeless is rough sleeping

Please note, offenders not managed by either the National Probation Service or a Community Rehabilitation Company (including those offenders subject to electronic monitoring) are not included in the dataset. Release on temporary licence (RoTL), End of Custody Temporary Release (ECTR), releases where the offender is subject to same-day recall to custody, and release from unsupervised short sentences are also not included.