Ex-offenders and employment: The Vicious Circle

Ex-offenders and employment: The Vicious Circle

Alex Knight Bio Pic
Youth Ambassador, Alex

By Youth Ambassador,  Alex Knight

An area of youth unemployment that hadn’t even crossed my mind, until I caught a documentary the other night.The documentary explored the lives of offenders when they are released from prison and the hardship of settling back into a normal lifestyle.

Its main focus was on unemployment and that’s when an interesting thought flash bulbed; can you punish an offender forever?

After serious thought, I concluded that no, you can’t and, it is unfair that after spending their time in prison for an offense and on the whole, coming out wanting to lead a straight lifestyle, employers were not interested in hiring ex-offenders.

If an offender commits a crime when they are young, for instance theft, it is unlikely in most cases that offenders leave with the attention of committing that crime again. But, it appears that often, offenders find their old ways return, as the struggle to find a job and make an honest living leads them back to making an illegal living.

If you know that you can only survive by acting a certain way because society has isolated and then not properly reintegrated you, then it is only human nature to do whatever is needed to survive. In this case, it is unfortunate that this nearly always results in a return to prison.

The statistics support this, as statistics from the Ministry of Justice show that almost three-quarters of young offenders will reoffend within a year of being released. The figure almost makes the young offenders institutions look pointless, as they are clearly unsuccessful at both deterring or rehabilitating offenders and putting their lives back on track.

There is governmental talk of a new centre for Young Offenders being built in Leicester, due to be finished in 2017. But surely the solution is actually simpler than that, by just offering more support to the offenders when they are released, especially in the form of employment. Even if it is on a voluntary basis, it can get an offender back into the routine of life on the outside and can motivate youngsters to embrace the opportunity and use the experience as fuel for a paid job.

How?

If employers are willing to accept that everyone makes mistakes and take on offenders they can be successful. By using basic responsibilities to build trust and assure that the offenders have indeed, changed their ways, they can move on to larger and more important tasks. It may seem costly on the outside, but companies can benefit from creating employees in the mould of their ideal candidate and not having to shape an already established candidate. There is also a direct correlation between output and a young work force, meaning the output of a company could strongly benefit from trusting the offenders.

I’ll leave you with some food for thought; if you made a mistake in your youth, would you want to be punished forever for it?

 

 

Tagged in: , , ,

Are You Aged 14-24?
Get FREE Young Professional Training
Are You An Employer?
Get youth employment expert help

For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

Looking for Youth Friendly Employers?

Find out more about some of the organisations offering high quality training and work opportunities to young people. Your next dream role could be just a click away…

Latest Articles

See more
CCEP meeting opportunity

Entry-level opportunity with Coca-Cola European Partners: Merchandiser, Luton area

Apply to be a Grocery Merchandiser with Youth Friendly Employer Coca-Cola European Partners and help raise the visibility of iconic […]

EY careers apply now

2020 Graduate, Apprenticeship & Student Opportunities Now Open with EY Careers

EY Careers: Looking for your first job in finance, tax or accounting? Students and school/college/university leavers can apply right now […]

youth employment barriers

Youth unemployment on the rise for boys?

A close look at the latest ONS statistics reveals that the number of 16-24 male NEETS has increased in the […]

mental health support hands

When it comes to mental health in the workplace, we must listen to Generation Z.

Zack, A Youth Ambassador with OCD was told that improving mental health support structures in a retail placement would damage […]