Advice for prisoners and ex-offenders

In prison or on release, find out where to get help and advice with finding somewhere to live, keeping your housing or money worries.

When you're in prison

Most prisons have a housing advice and 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 you with things like:

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're allocated 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 apply to 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 Jun 2018 | © Shelter

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