A scoping review of supported group housing services for people released from prison

image - Dpmp5 Square 0
Date Commenced:
Expected Date of Completion:
Project Members: 
image - Sarah Larney
Senior Lecturer
Ph +61 (2) 9385 0333
Project Main Description: 

The aim of this project is to scope the research literature on supported housing services for people released from prison.


People leaving prisons often have few options for safe and secure housing. Lack of housing following release from custody is associated with poor outcomes. Supported accommodation services exist with the aim of reducing these negative outcomes, but these can vary widely in their theoretical underpinnings, therapeutic/case management approaches, and types of programs and activities that are offered to clients. Little is known about program elements that contribute to effectiveness. There is a need to understand the role of supported accommodation services, and specific aspects of these services, in improving both criminal justice and health outcomes of people released from prisons.


To scope the research literature on supported housing services for people released from prison.

Design and Method: 

This project uses the established methodology of scoping reviews. We will search multiple datasets for relevant literature. The review will include program descriptions, evaluation studies using a comparison group, and evaluation studies that assess program factors associated with positive outcomes.


We identified few studies meeting our inclusion criteria, and most were methodologically flawed. There has been too little study of this area, and findings too inconsistent, to determine if supported housing services improve criminal justice or health outcomes for people released from custody, or to identify program factors associated with positive outcomes for service users.


Growns, B., Kinner, S., Baldry, E., Conroy, E., Larney, S. Supported accommodation services for people released from custody: A systematic review to inform the development of the Rainbow Lodge Program. NDARC Technical Report No. 335. Sydney, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, 2016.

Project Research Area: 
Project Status: