The Welsh Liberal Democrats have revealed that over a third of the prisoners released from Welsh prisons are released into “unsettled” or “unknown” accommodation.
The figures prove the criminal justice system is fundamentally failing when people are reoffending just to get a meal or a place to sleep.
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) figures show that across England and Wales 34.4% of prisoners in 2017/18 were released into unsettled or unknown accommodation, compared to 36.5% of prisoners in Welsh prisons in 2016/17.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey MP said:
To prevent reoffending, prisons should be places of rehabilitation and recovery, and that work must continue when offenders leave the prison gates.
The thousands of people who have nowhere to go upon release are less likely to be able to get a job or have access to education or healthcare. It’s hardly surprising that some turn to stealing or even choose to go back to prison for the sake of a warm, dry bed.
The criminal justice system is fundamentally failing when people are reoffending just to get a meal or a place to sleep.
The Liberal Democrats have consistently argued that the Government must ensure arrangements are in place for housing, healthcare and benefits when people leave prison.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
It’s immensely disappointing to see so many Welsh prisoners being released without secure housing to go to. It’s essential the Government ensures released prisoners have access to secure housing to allow them to continue to be rehabilitated and become productive members of society.