If the ‘benefits’ system had been designed so as to ensure that someone released from prison was likely to be back there very soon, then it probably wouldn’t be very different from this.
Mike told us he had just signed onto Universal Credit after coming out of prison, and that he had been told he would get no advance to cover the 5-6 week wait before he received any payments. The reason given was that he had not informed the DWP when he went to prison, and so had gone on receiving benefits he wasn’t entitled to. But whatever he received has now gone, and he has nothing – not even a place to stay. He told us he was sleeping rough and would have to steal to survive. We directed him to the Shelter advice drop-in.
Peter had also had trouble with the law. He had been remanded in…
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