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Corrections and Rehabilitation – Ex-Offender Housing

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Monday, 5 June 2023

Tags: Housing, Corrections, Prisons, State Budget

Dr WOODRUFF - I understand in 2022 there were 1500 people released from full time custody. Can you please tell me the number of people who were released from prison into public housing, from the TPS into the rapid rehousing for prisoners, and the number released into homelessness? Over the past three years. That is a separate question because this relates to the 1500 people last year. Into public housing and into rapid rehousing?

Ms ARCHER - I can deal with the rapid rehousing. Since its inception in January 2018 up to 31 March, 270 participants have been accepted into the Beyond the Wire program. And from 1 July 2022 until 31 March this year there have been 56 new participants in the program. Prison rapid rehousing aims to create a pool of 12 dedicated properties, either private rentals or owned by community housing providers, with suitable inmates matched to accommodation from the pool of properties. As of 31 March this year, seven properties are currently tenanted through the rapid rehousing program - five in the south and two in the north. A further five properties are currently undergoing assessment from Community Corrections for suitability for parolees. All seven tenants are Beyond the Wire participants housed in prisoner rapid rehousing properties. Properties are transitional properties, which means the lease operates for one year before each client is assisted to transition to alternative ongoing accommodation via Centacare Evolve Housing. That is all I can provide in terms of information I've got. Any other specific figures we would need to put on notice.

Dr WOODRUFF - Can I clarify - did you say 270 were accepted and 56 residents?

Ms ARCHER - Yes, that was Beyond the Wire program.

Dr WOODRUFF - So in 2022, of the 1500 people released, 270 were accepted into Beyond the Wire?

Ms ARCHER - What is the 1500 figure and where have you got that from? The 270 is Beyond the Wire since its inception in January 2018. Then, since 1 July 2022 until 31 March this year there have been 56 new participants.

Dr WOODRUFF - But only seven of them housed. So, 56 wanted accommodation and seven got it, is that right?

Ms ARCHER - I think my information is lacking and I prefer to take something on notice because it is not clear to me from what I have where the numbers land. You are asking about rapid rehousing and there are other forms of housing, so we probably need to give a better breakdown.

Dr WOODRUFF - Okay. You didn't answer the question about how many were released into public housing.

Ms ARCHER - We wouldn't have that information.

Dr WOODRUFF - Why not? We always used to keep that information. I have always asked that question previously.

Ms ARCHER - We will look into it.

Dr WOODRUFF - It used to be available, how many people were housed in public housing, and there was a relationship with Housing Tasmania.

Ms ARCHER - Oh, that and Housing Connect?

Ms WEBSTER - Broadly, there is certainly a relationship with Homes Tasmania and there are discussions around housing requirements. Some of our clients don't necessarily want to provide information about where they are released to and they don't have to. If they are not on parole or they are not on an order, we may not know where they go after they leave.

Dr WOODRUFF - Yes, but we do know if Connect has housed them. We used to know that figure and we used to know how many people were housed.

Ms ARCHER - We will take it on notice.

Dr WOODRUFF - Okay, thank you.

Dr WOODRUFF - Thank you. Do you have figures on the number of consultations that were made available of counselling and house counselling? If there is a waiting list, how many people are on the waiting list?

Mr THOMAS - We could get those figures.

Ms ARCHER - We will need to get those figures. If you could write that down.

Dr WOODRUFF - If I could put that on notice, thank you. Do you have the number of parolees who returned to prison in breach of their parole orders in the last year?

Ms WEBSTER - We have, in 2021-22: 59 parole orders were revoked with 29 of those due to new offending, 123 people had current parole orders as at the 31 March 2023 and 64 parolees were being electronically monitored as a condition of their parole. To answer your question to ensure I have answered your question, Dr Woodruff. Parole withdrawn in 2021-22 was 42.

Dr WOODRUFF - Parole was revoked in 59, but 42 were withdrawn. What is the difference?

Ms WEBSTER - I might need to ask the Director of Community Corrections or provide some clarity on that.

Dr WOODRUFF - I assume that means they came back to prison as a result of that?

Ms WEBSTER - If their parole is revoked, that is correct.

Dr WOODRUFF - But if it is withdrawn, is that the same? What is the difference?

Ms WEBSTER - Yes; the parole application withdrawn. Withdrawn means withdrawn by the offender; revoked means revoked by the board. Does that make sense?

Dr WOODRUFF - Yes. The ones who had their parole revoked returned to prison?

Ms WEBSTER - Correct, 59 in 2021-22.

Dr WOODRUFF - Fifty-nine in the last year, out of 123?

Ms WEBSTER - That's not quite correct because 123 had current parole orders as at 31 March. That is a current thing.

Dr WOODRUFF - Right, that is a point in time. Sorry about that confusion.