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A place to live Securing stable accommodation for offenders with mental health problems

Ensuring that offenders with mental health problems have a safe and stable home is a crucial part of their recovery and rehabilitation. A stable home provides a sense of identity and belonging, giving people a base from which they can rebuild their lives and move out of a cycle of crisis and crime.

The current changing policy context across a range of sectors including health, criminal justice, housing and welfare provides both opportunities and risks
for improving access to stable accommodation for offenders with mental health problems. Homelessness cannot be seen as just a housing problem – tackling and
preventing homelessness is crucial for both improving the wellbeing of local populations and building safer communities. A joined up approach is required at all levels to ensure that vulnerable people are able to access safe and sustainable housing as well as appropriate support to address other needs.

At a time when figures suggest that homelessness is on the rise, this briefing paper sets out what we know about homelessness, mental health and offending, and makes recommendations about how a group who are particularly vulnerable to homelessness could be better supported in order to improve outcomes for both the individual and for their community.