Potential next steps suggested by the findings
Analysis of the research findings has led to seven suggested next steps.
1: The Scottish Government, the SPS, social housing providers and community justice partners should give consideration to how best to ensure comprehensive services are provided in prison to give advice and support with housing issues to those who serve short sentences. Any resulting plans for action should be in keeping with other Government justice strategies (including Justice Strategy for Scotland, National Strategy for Community Justice).
2: The SPS and social housing providers should give consideration to setting out a consistent standard for providing services in all prisons to give advice and support with housing issues to those who serve short sentences, and on release into the community including adoption of a Housing Options approach.
3: Consideration should be given to Community Justice Scotland having national leadership of housing and reoffending, overseeing the development of improved local support through monitoring of the new national strategy for community justice and the national performance framework with local partners.
4: The Scottish Government, the SPS and social housing providers should give consideration to facilitating information-sharing on housing problems (including for example arrears) between their services, at national and local levels. The aim of this would be more joined-up service delivery and avoiding duplication.
5: The Scottish Government, the SPS and social housing providers should give consideration to how housing outcomes for those who serve short sentences can be recorded, making best use of existing data sources. The aim of this would be to record the scale and nature of any issues and identify any improvements.
6: The SPS should give consideration to ensuring that relevant staff receive basic Housing Options and advice training to ensure that clear information on housing is given to individuals who serve short sentences.
7: The Scottish Government and the SPS should give consideration to providing information to policy makers and professionals in other areas (for example, sentencing, health, social security) about how they could contribute to achieving positive outcomes for people who serve short sentences through consideration of housing issues.
How to access background or source data
The data collected for this social research publication:
☐ are available in more detail through Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics
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☐ cannot be made available by Scottish Government for further analysis as Scottish Government is not the data controller.
Email: Julie Guy