Advice for prisoners and ex-offenders

Where to get housing help and advice while you're in prison and when you leave.

Resettlement advice in prison

Most prisons have a resettlement service called Through the Gate. The service is delivered by charities including Shelter, St Giles Trust and Catch22.

A resettlement worker in prison can help with things like:

  • benefits advice
  • rent arrears or eviction
  • referrals to suitable accommodation if you'll be homeless on release

You can apply for the following grants before release:

  • a £46 discharge grant
  • up to £50 for your first night's accommodation (paid direct to the housing provider)

Help from the probation service

You get a probation officer in the area you'll be living after release. Your probation officer manages your supervision in the community.

Your resettlement worker in prison works on your resettlement plan with your probation officer.

If you're released on licence, the conditions of your licence might mean you can't live in certain areas.

Probation teams can give you housing advice and may be able to refer you to a specialist hostel, supported housing or private landlords.

Find out more about probation services from

Help from the council

You can ask the council for help if you're homeless now or due to leave prison in the next 8 weeks and don't have anywhere to stay on release.

Find out more about help and housing from the council for homeless ex-prisoners.

Online advice and information

Search for hostels, advice services and day centres on Homeless Link

Get specialist online housing advice and information from NACRO

Last updated 26 June 2018 | © Shelter

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