Prison Outreach

The Edinburgh Housing Advice Partnership operates a Prison Outreach Project within HMP Edinburgh, HMP Cornton Vale and HM YOI Polmont. By building on established close links with the Scottish Prison Service, Criminal Justice Social Work and Local Authority Housing Offices our target is to ensure that 100% of sentenced prisoners are seen on first entry to prison and are aware of the available service.

What does the service offer?

Our Prison Outreach Project Workers aim to meet with new prisoners within five working days of a referral from prison staff to carry out a Housing Needs Assessment to establish the most appropriate course of action. Where it may be possible to sustain an individual's current tenancy the Prison Outreach Project Workers will:

  • ensure RSL and Private Landlords are informed appropriately when prisoners are sentenced
  • notify Local Authorities of the individual's whereabouts to avoid tenancy abondonment action
  • work with offenders to consider possibilities to sublet their house during their sentence, or come to an agreement under which they give up their present tenancy but are given an equivalent house on release where appropriate
  • assist with the completion of Housing Benefit claims and production of Confirmation of Detention
  • ensure the property and the prisoner's belongings are secure
  • make arrangements with Local Authorities and Housing Associations to prevent offenders from getting into debt in cases where an individual will be detained for more than the 13 week period for which she/he is entitled to housing benefit
  • refer individuals who choose to remain in the Edinburgh area on leaving prison to an EHAP neighbourhood housing adviser or another advice or support agency where appropriate

The EHAP Prison Outreach Project is primarily taken forward by EHAP partner Four Square.

To make a referral to EHAP, or to request further information about the EHAP Prison Outreach Project please contact the EHAP administrator on 0845 302 4607

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