Manchester's homeless crisis perpetuated by prisoners abandoned upon release

Manchester's homeless crisis is being perpetuated by a lack of support for people released from the city's prisons, research from the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Hundreds of prisoners released each year are at serious risk of ending up on the streets because of a lack of social and affordable homes in the city.

Nearly 400 people released from Manchester's prisons were completely abandoned last year alone, the Liberal Democrats have revealed, with many going on to sleeping rough.

762 prisoners from Manchester left for “unsettled” or “unknown” accommodation between 2015 and 2017, out of a total 2,111 released.

Figures show that 212 people (10%) were released to “unsettled accommodation” – mostly rough sleeping and other forms of homelessness – between April 2015 and March 2017. This group is much more likely to reoffend than those who have stable housing upon release.

A further 550 (26%) were released to unknown accommodation, making it much harder for them to receive services to support rehabilitation.

Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesperson Greg Stanton said:

"Prisons need to be places of rehabilitation and recovery, and that work must continue when offenders leave the prison gates - that is the only way to prevent reoffending.

“The hundreds of people in Manchester who have nowhere to go upon release find it almost impossible to get a job, access to education or healthcare and this is only perpetuating our homeless crisis.

"We really have reached a new low when people are choosing to reoffend in order to get a meal or place to sleep because the alternative is the streets.

"We need a combined effort from the Government and Council to ensure arrangements are in place for housing, healthcare and benefits when people leave prison.

"Manchester Council must stop approving luxury developments and agree to Lib Dem demands of social and affordable housing so we can finally put an end to the shameful homeless crisis."

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