Criminology lecturers have been commissioned to carry out a study on the prevention of homelessness among prison leavers.
Wrexham Glyndwr University and the University of Salford were tasked by the Welsh Government to undertake an Evaluation of Homelessness Services Provided to Adults Leaving the Secure Estate.
The aim is to understand how new pathways for meeting prison leavers’ needs have been implemented by organisations involved in supporting adults preparing to re-enter civilian life.
The research will be led by Wrexham Glyndwr lecturers Dr Iolo Madoc-Jones and Dr Caroline Hughes, supported by Dr Sarah Dubberley, Dr Karen Washington–Dyer and Dr Caroline Gorden.
They will engage with stakeholders involved in delivering services to those in custody from institutions across England and Wales, just weeks before they are due to leave.
Dr Madoc-Jones said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us since the new Welsh homelessness legislation is widely thought to be ground-breaking in terms of its focus on homeless prevention.
“The team’s expertise in criminal justice related matters placed us in a strong position to explore how Services Provided to Adults Leaving the Secure Estate have been developed but our success was down to team working across the University, founded as it also was on contributions by bid writer Emma Taylor in the bids team and Wendy Wood in the finance team.”
The joint study will take place over the next 12 months, and comes after a report in Scotland on the link between homelessness and re-offending called for housing to be made a priority.
Shelter Scotland’s Preventing Homelessness and Reducing Re-Offending study made 14 recommendations to Parliament, including a call for a proportion of the funding received by community justice partners to be earmarked for improving the housing advice and support available to prisoners.
Previous research by the charity showed that providing a safe and secure home to ex-offenders upon release was crucial in preventing re-offending, as each case costs around £34,000 per prisoner per year.
For more on Criminology at Wrexham Glyndwr University, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk