Closing the Revolving Door Prison Project

By supporting people in prison to maintain housing and resolve debts, we can help end the cycle between prisons and homelessness.

Many people in prison have ongoing issues with housing and debts, both before and after release.

33% of people in prisons were homeless before prison, and 54% expect to be homeless when released. And if former prisoners exit into homelessness, they are twice as likely to return to prison within the first 9 months of release.

Without tailored, holistic legal help to resolve these issues, people are at greater risk of homelessness and, as a consequence, ending up back in prison.

We provide integrated legal help for people in prison

Our Closing the Revolving Door prison project focuses on preventing homelessness for people in prison by providing access to integrated legal services. It aims to prevent people exiting prison into homelessness, with a view to increasing community reintegration and reducing the risk of reoffending.

Who can we assist?

We provide free legal help to people in prison in most Victorian prisons. Currently, our focus is on housing issues to avoid people getting evicted while in prison on short sentences or remand. We also specialise in housing debts owed to previous residential rental providers (particularly the Director of Housing), which may prevent people from finding new housing after release.

Scoping holistic legal needs of Victorians exiting prison

From over 6 years of our specialised work with people in prison, we know that access to holistic legal supports are vital to successful post-release reintegration. That’s why we have completed a scoping study to assess opportunities to provide best-practice, wrap-around legal help for people released from prison.

Our final report, ‘Closing the Revolving Door: Scoping holistic legal needs of Victorians exiting prison’, involves an in-depth review of the national and international literature, as well as consultations involving people with lived experience of imprisonment, specialist legal services and post-release support providers.

Our detailed learnings and direct insights from the scoping study support our recommendations for a potential new project to best increase access to legal services and achieve social justice for Victorians on their release from prison.

Read our reports

Closing the Revolving Door: Scoping holistic legal needs of Victorians exiting prison (May 2021)Download PDF (752 KB)
Closing the Revolving Door: 12 months of stopping the cycle between imprisonment and homelessness (January 2020)Download PDF (3 MB)
Debt and Tenancy Legal Help for Prisoners: 12 month project report (January 2016)Download PDF (791 KB)
Debt and Tenancy Legal Help for Prisoners: 6 month project report (March 2015)Download PDF (898 KB)