Prison Work Coaches should be available to support prisoners before they leave.
In a parliamentary answer DWP Minister Will Quince has stated:
'Prisoners serving short sentences are able to retain the housing element for up to six months to prevent them from being homeless on release. For those prisoners serving longer sentences the Prison Work Coach will engage with the prisoner two-three weeks prior to release and will identify any accommodation issues at this point.
All discharged prisoners (sentenced to two days or more) are supported on release by a Ministry of Justice contracted provider - a Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), the CRC should consider any accommodation issues and support in signposting/engaging with the appropriate support.
If a Prison Work Coach has identified any accommodation issues during their intervention with the prisoner they would use the District Provision Tool to identify any suitable support that might be available locally and refer or signpost the prisoner to that provision. For those engaging with the Prison Work Coach an advanced appointment will be made for as soon as possible following release. Once the claim to universal credit is made by the prisoner, they would be able to apply for an advance of their first payment straightaway, meaning that money could be made available on the same day as the claim is made.'