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Ex-prisoners facing limited post-release housing options

According to a recent 2021 report from Corrective Services Australia, 42,633 prisoners were in custody from the March Quarter.

Of these 92% were male (39,342) and 8% female (3,291). There were 12,886 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, 90% of whom were male (11,652).

View: Corrective Services Australian 2021 March Quarter statistics. 

Writing in The Guardian last year, Dr Mindy Sotiri and Dr Ruth McCausland expanded on the vicious cycle for prisoners who are without a home upon release.

“They will be released from remand centres having been found not guilty, or having had the court determine they will not be given a prison sentence,” they said.  “They will be released having completed their custodial sentences, or on parole or community corrections orders.

“Many will be slowly making the long journey home to their communities by whatever means available to them. Thousands, however, will have nowhere to live. More than half of all people leaving Australian prisons expect to be homeless.

On August 10 at 3pm, Dr Chris Martin - senior research fellow at the University of NSW’s City Futures Research Centre, will present new research “on the reality and potential of housing assistance after prison.”

“The connection between imprisonment and homelessness presents specials risks for people with complex support needs,” say the researchers, noting that those ex-prisoners with mental health conditions or cognitive disability are particularly vulnerable.

“Post-release housing assistance is a potentially powerful lever in arresting the imprisonment-homelessness cycle, and breaking down the disabling web of punishment and containment in which people with complex support needs are often caught.”

The one-hour seminar will outline how ex-prisoners with complex support needs who receive public housing have better criminal justice outcomes than ex-prisoners who receive private rental assistance only.

“Public housing ‘flattens the curve’ of average predicted police incidents, time in custody and other measures, and in dollar terms achieves net savings relative to assistance in private rental and homelessness services. 

“However, while imprisonment in Australia is growing, declining investment in social housing means assistance capacity is diminishing.”

REGISTER TO ATTEND Housing After Prison for People with Complex Support Needs


Read: Prisoners more likely to be homeless, unemployed and suffer poor mental and physical health. (AIHW)

Read: Vicious cycle for prisoners who are homeless on release needs urgent action (The Guardian)





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