The term Prisoner Finance Gap (PFG) is commonly used to describe the gap in financial support experienced by many prisoners immediately following their release from prison. Within the underpinning context of reducing re-offending of released prisoners, the PFG has been identified as an issue likely to present a significant barrier to the effective resettlement of offenders. The Hallam Centre for Community Justice was therefore commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions to conduct a qualitative investigation into the PFG within four prisons in the North East.
The research investigates the nature of the PFG as experienced by prisoners and ex-prisoners, the systems in place to address their financial exclusion and the extent to which pre-release inputs impacted on financial inclusion following release. It identifies obstacles and barriers to the take-up of inputs and examines the nature and effectiveness of strategic and operational relationships. It concludes with a series of recommendations aimed to address the issues raised.