An evaluation of the effect of housing provision on re-offending

Safer Communities

Authors

Mark Ellison, Chris Fox, Adrian Gaines, Gary Pollock

Abstract

Purpose

Established in 2007, Vision Housing is a small London-based specialist housing provider working primarily with ex-offenders. This study seeks to evaluate the impact of Vision Housing's provision of housing and support on re-offending rates.

Design/methodology/approach

The evaluation design compared expected re-offending rates after one year calculated using offender group reconviction scale (OGRS3) with actual reoffending rates after one year based on data from the police national computer (PNC). “Re-offending” was defined in line with the current Ministry of Justice definition based on “proven re-offending”.

Findings

The predicted rate of proven re-offending for 400 clients referred to Vision over 12 months was 40.7 per cent. Their actual proven re-offending rate over 12 months was 37.0 per cent. This is 3.7 percentage points less than the predicted proven re-offending rate, equivalent to a 9.1 per cent reduction in proven re-offending. This result was statistically significant. Analysis also suggested that Vision Housing is more successful with women; offenders under the age of 35; offenders referred by the Prison and Probation Service; offenders with a higher predicted risk of proven re-offending; and offenders who had committed more serious offences.

Research limitations/implications

The evaluation conducted to date does not include a comparison group and therefore has relatively low levels of internal validity.

Practical implications

The authors are not aware of any UK studies of the impact of housing on re-offending that have successfully used a more methodologically robust evaluation design. Until such studies are carried out, the results of the current study should be of great interest to policy-makers and those delivering rehabilitative services to ex-offenders in partnership with third sector organisations.

Originality/value

This study has produced evidence of the impact of housing on recidivism and quantified that impact.

Publication link

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17073027&show=abstract

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