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Briefing: New action needed for prison-leavers during Covid-19

By January 26, 2021July 19th, 2021No Comments

Read Switchback’s new briefing here [PDF]

Update: in May 2021 the government announced that the discharge grant will increase from £46 to £76. Click here to read more.

Since the onset of the pandemic around 40,000 people have been released from prison.

Yet recent MoJ data shows nearly a third (27%) were released homeless. Evidence from Switchback’s work with young prison-leavers during Covid-19 shows an even higher rate of homelessness (65%) in London, with many also released without a bank account, ID or phone to contact essential services.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 cases in prisons rose by 70% in December.

Through Switchback’s proximity to prison-leavers we have become increasingly concerned that a lack of support on release is not just impacting them but also the wider public – by risking further transmission of the virus, reoffending and pressure on public services and spending. 

In response to the pandemic, Switchback reconfigured its service and last year supported more young prison-leavers than ever before. This briefing details new evidence gathered from Switchback’s frontline work over the past year, outlining three areas where urgent action is needed to protect prison-leavers and the public:

Too many people are being released into the pandemic with just £46 and nowhere to go. Read our briefing and calls for action here:

Download (PDF)

For more information, contact Sam Boyd, Director of Impact and External Affairs, on or 07495 022 437.

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