When John Kenney was released from prison in the 1980s he ended up on the streets, saying he received no help transitioning back into the community and struggled to find proper accommodation.
“The set-up is if you go out on parole you’ve got to find a place to live. You’ve got to do that from inside prison, which is very hard to do,” Mr Kenney said.
“If you do your full time, they just release you from the prison out onto the streets.”
He said he unsuccessfully wrote around 100 tenancy applications and was judged based on his criminal history.
“You get judged from the day you’re released. Because you’ve got a criminal background you got nowhere to go. You get no jobs, no place to live, anything,” he said.
He said the system has not changed in the years following his release, with many other released prisoners facing similar housing issues.
“We need some kind of set up in prison that could help to get affordable housing for the prisoners before they get released. Not left on our own to get it ourselves,” Mr Kenney said.
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