2. Study background and aims
As evidenced by the establishment and work of the Ministerial Group on Offender Reintegration (MGOR) the Scottish Government places a high priority on reducing reoffending.
The MGOR recognised that the process by which individuals stop offending (desistance), is a complex and individual process, it can take a number of years and may require a lot of support. Further that community support structures help promote desistance, that stable housing plays a critical role and the loss of housing can make it less likely that people will stop offending (see for example McNeill et al, 2012, Ministry of Justice, 2013 Rough Sleepers Unit 2002 and Loucks, 2007 cited in the full report).
As such the MGOR recommended that we commission research on the issue of housing and reoffending driven by the central theme that finding and keeping good quality accommodation can help reintegration of offenders and desistance.
This research aimed to provide evidence and understanding to inform the development of policy and practice for supporting people who serve short sentences in Scotland. This was undertaken by exploring (i) the issues and barriers that people who serve short sentences in Scotland experience finding and keeping stable accommodation; (ii) services that could deliver support, advice and other help; (iii) gaps in services and (iv) potential next steps for the Scottish Government, Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and other stakeholders to consider to support improvements in housing outcomes for those serving a short sentence.
Email: Julie Guy