We have discussed prisoners and debt on the blog before, but purely in an historical context. Some new research has been published that discusses the subject in a modern perspective. Time is Money: financial responsibility after prison, published by the Prison Reform Trust and UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders, with the support of the Friends Provident Foundation, argues that exclusion from bank accounts, insurance and affordable credit is preventing former offenders from getting into work and securing a home and forcing their families into debt. As the report's authors note: "The Ministry of Justice highlight stable employment and housing as the most important factors in reducing the risk of reoffending but achieving either is difficult without access to basic financial services."
The authors Chris Bath, Director of Projects at UNLOCK, and Dr Kimmett Edgar, Head of Research at the Prison Reform Trust, explore the impact of the criminal justice system on banking, credit, debt, savings, financial capability, benefits, and insurance. The role of advice and the practical implications of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act are also considered. The key findings inform practical, cost effective recommendations to achieve financial inclusion for people in prison, former offenders and their families, improve resettlement and reduce reoffending.