Homes for ex-prisoners: Housing provision and support after release in New Zealand Event as iCalendar

(School of Social Sciences)

15 April 2016

3 - 4pm

Venue: Room 104, Fale Pasifika Complex (273-104)

Contact info: Dr Barry Milne

Contact email: b.milne@auckland.ac.nz

Website: COMPASS

Re-offending by ex-prisoners is a significant problem in New Zealand with approximately 40 percent being re-imprisoned within the first three years after release. Existing international studies have suggested that permanent, stable housing can reduce the risk of recidivism on release from prison by up to 20 percent. Despite the potential importance of housing in prisoner reintegration, no comprehensive picture exists of specialist housing provision and support for people leaving prison in New Zealand, although such provision is generally thought to be patchy and inadequate. This presentation will draw upon telephone interviews with housing providers and other agencies in New Zealand to illustrate the strengths and weakness of existing housing provision for ex-prisoners. We argue that stable housing can represent more than just a roof over someone’s head but can also be a crucial part of ensuring that ex-prisoners feel a valued part of the community.

Grace Gordon is a BA(Hons) student in Criminology and was a summer scholar in 2015/16 when she completed research on housing provision and support for ex-prisoners in New Zealand. She has been a volunteer for Just Speak for two years and is currently President of the Auckland Just Speak on Campus club.

Alice Mills is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social Sciences. She has extensive experience of researching prisons and prisoner reintegration. In 2002 she was the lead researcher on the UK Social Exclusion Unit’s report on ‘Reducing Re-Offending by Ex-Prisoners’ and this, along with several of her studies on the role of NGOs in criminal justice, triggered her initial interest in housing for ex-prisoners. She has recently completed a small project on the housing needs of vulnerable populations in New Zealand.
 

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