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Chris Martin, Rebecca Reeve, Ruth McCausland, Eileen Baldry, Pat Burton, Rob White, Stuart Thomas,
Imprisonment in Australia is growing and ex-prisoner housing need is growing; but at the same time, housing assistance capacity is declining.
• Without real options and resources, prisoner pre-release planning for accommodation is often last-minute.
Insecure temporary accommodation is stressful and diverts ex-prisoners and agencies from addressing other needs, undermining desistance from offending.
• Ex-prisoners with complex support needs who receive public housing have better criminal justice outcomes than comparable ex-prisoners who receive private rental assistance only.
Public housing ‘flattens the curve’ of average predicted police incidents (down 8.9% per year), time in custody (down 11.2% per year), justice system costs per person (down $4,996 initially, then a further $2,040 per year), and other measures.
• In dollar terms, housing an ex-prisoner in a public housing tenancy generates, after five years, a net benefit of between $5,200 and $35,000, relative to the cost of providing them with assistance in private rental and/or through homelessness services.
• The evidence strongly supports the need for much greater provision of social housing to people exiting prison, particularly for those with complex support needs