As a member of the Parole Board I am required to release a prisoner if it is “no longer necessary for the protection of the public that they remain confined”. Faced with a prisoner due for release and having decided that they have met that criterion I am then faced with the issue that they have nowhere to go. Investing in a £3m pilot scheme to provide officers to “equip inmates for life outside” (Scale of rough sleeping among released prisoners revealed, 14 August) will do nothing to help if there is no life outside other than the pavement. Investing in housing and decent single homeless provision rather than prison places for short-term sentences would provide the necessary revenue. We do not need a pilot scheme to equip inmates for life outside, but a reinvestment in what used to be called the probation and after-care service, which provided precisely the post-release support and supervision that is now being reinvented.
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