This paper outlines the key findings and themes from a consultation project exploring the experiences and difficulties faced by people who have recently exited the prison system into situations of housing crisis or homelessness.
In 2012 the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service (HPLS) and StreetCare (the HPLS Homeless Consumer Advisory Committee) undertook a consultation project exploring the experiences and difficulties faced by people who have recently exited the prison system into situations of housing crisis or homelessness. The close relationship between recent prison experience, housing crisis, homelessness, and socio-economic disadvantage has been confirmed in several Australian studies over the last ten years.
This project involved consultation interviews with 26 people who exited prison in the previous two years into situations of housing crisis or homelessness. These interviews were undertaken by members of StreetCare with support from HPLS. The project also involved six interviews with community workers who have direct professional engagement with people who have recently exited the prison system.
The aims of the project were to identify:
1. The experiences of people experiencing homelessness who had recently been released from prison;
2. The perceived difficulties faced by generalist homeless services and agencies in relation to the provision of services to homeless people recently released from prison.
This briefing paper outlines the key findings and themes that were identified from these consultations. In addition, it lists eleven recommendations to address the key problems that were identified during the consultation.
Following the conduct of consultation interviews, HPLS was actively involved in key consultation roundtables with Corrective Services NSW and Housing NSW focusing on issues relating to the accommodation and support needs of people exiting prison in NSW. HPLS had strong input into the recommendations arising from those roundtables based on the information derived from these consultations. Several of the recommendations contained in this briefing paper are therefore the same or similar to the recommendations arising from the roundtables.