More than half (54%) of people exiting prison expect to be homeless on release from prison. If former prisoners exit into homelessness, they are twice as likely to return to prison within the first nine months of release.
Given the current rate of recidivism in Victoria sits at 45.6% and with the cost of incarceration around $118,000 per person every year, maintaining or accessing secure housing with supports is a critical component of tackling Victoria’s growing and costly imprisonment rate.
Our specialist Closing the Revolving Door Prison Project breaks the cycle between imprisonment and homelessness by providing people in prison with tailored, holistic legal supports to ensure access to housing on release. We see first-hand the importance of access to post-release housing in reducing recidivism, particularly by ensuring that people can exit the criminal justice system and better-reintegrate with the community. Greater investment in safe, suitable and affordable housing with wrap-around supports would help to stop people from cycling in-and-out of prison when their needs could be better met in the community.