Essex County Council have announced a vital agreement with our partners today to prevent ex-offenders from facing homelessness when they leave prison.

The aim of the Essex Prison Release Housing Protocol is to assure stable housing is in place at the time of release.

This will help ex-offenders transition back into society. It will reduce the risk of reoffending and the number of homeless people in Essex – which has been on the rise in 2023.

A lack of stable housing is linked to offending and reoffending. Research shows that individuals released from prison into unstable accommodation are significantly more likely to reoffend and sometimes return to prison.

Partners are now working closer together to find more suitable accommodation. This supports the goal that there should be no reason why anyone in Essex should sleep rough.

The protocol names 17 commitments which together aim to:

  • reduce the number of ex-offenders on probation who leave custody without suitable accommodation
  • reduce the number of ex-offenders on probation forced to sleep rough or move into accommodation which is unsafe for themselves or others

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