A fifth of young men in jail in Britain would be homeless in the outside world, a report has warned.
The majority of 18 to 21-year-old men who have been in prison have housing problems, the two-year study by the Howard League for Penal Reform reveals.
The young men interviewed for the study said they were more likely to get involved in offending if their housing needs were not met.
A quarter believed that housing was crucial to their successful resettlement and would help them to live crime-free lives.
Seventy-five per cent had already left home by the time they began their jail sentence - having left at an average age of 15 - and many said they had no idea where they would be spending their first night upon release.
The league is urging the Government to review housing benefit so that people over the age of 18 are entitled to the same benefits as adults over the age of 25. It also wants the Government to impose on local authorities a statutory duty to house homeless young people when they are released from prison.
Author of the report, Finola Farrant, said: "When young people themselves say that having safe and secure housing will help stop them committing further offences the Government should sit up and take notice.
"Having appropriate accommodation, including support to maintain it, could make all the difference between someone re-offending or not."
One 20-year-old called Richard said he did not know where he would be staying on his first night out of prison.
He said: "I'm getting right stressed now.
"I'm sick of it. "I came in without a home and now five months later I'm leaving without one too.
"The only advice I've been given is to go to the HPU (Homeless Person's Unit) but I knew to do that anyway, I've been through the whole system in the past, I know what to do, it don't help though.
"I need to know where I'm going to be staying, I can't sleep thinking about it."
At any one time there are more than 9,000 people between the ages of 18 and 21 in prison.