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7. Preparing for release from prison

If you were not able to keep your home whilst in prison, or were homeless before you went into prison it is important you get support and advice on your housing options early. You may not know when you are going to be released, but you can still obtain information and advice.

If you are going to be homeless within 56 days, you may need to make a homeless application so it is best to contact your local housing team as soon as you can. Your Resettlement Officer at the prison and your local Housing Options Team can complete forms and get things in place ready for when you know when your release date.


  • do you have somewhere you can stay on the day you are released?
  • contact friends and family to see if anyone could offer you a bed for your release date or longer so that you have some time to plan for other housing options and to claim benefits or return to work.
  • advise the Resettlement Team at your prison as soon as you know you do not have anywhere to stay.
  • discuss options with the Resettlement Team for referrals to supported accommodation providers on release.  They may be able to offer you a telephone or in-person assessment whilst you are in prison.
  • contact your local Housing Options Team and ask for some help. They can arrange a telephone assessment of your housing and support needs and try to help you secure accommodation on release from prison. 
  • you may also wish to contact other services that you will need on release such as Substance Misuse providers, your GP, your landlord if you are able to return to your home or Social Services.