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Inmates freed from London prison will get rent help to prevent crime and rough sleeping

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Inmates freed from a London prison will have their rent deposits paid and housing benefits topped up in a new scheme to reduce the risks of homelessness and reoffending.

Each of the nearly 200 eligible men from Pentonville prison will also be given a support worker to help them find a job. The aim is to prevent them from becoming rough sleepers or returning to crime, and to help them settle back into society.

The scheme, unveiled today by Justice Secretary David Gauke and housing minister Heather Wheeler, has been prompted by concerns about the number of former prisoners who reoffend after becoming homeless.

Research has shown that those with stable accommodation are, by contrast, far less likely to commit new crimes.

Mr Gauke said that inmates freed from short sentences from Pentonville, Leeds and Bristol prisons would be given specialist support over two years. 

This would include finding accommodation, assisting with rent deposits and topping up housing benefit to help ex-prisoners pay their rent.

The scheme, that could be extended, will be a part of the Government’s £100 million rough sleeping strategy announced in August. 

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