the criminology and criminal justice network
Here is an interesting document about the barriers to employment that many offenders and ex-offenders face.
It is made of two parts:
- Part one: Barriers to employment for offenders and ex-offenders
- Part two: a review of the literature
What do you think about it?
First, thanks for posting the document on barriers to employment, my PHD is not centred per se on ex offenders (even though I have always found this area of criminology very interesting), but it does relate in part to some of the areas of my own studies ie the social control and exclusion of targeted sections of local communities. The document truly made me consider how can an individual who has been labelled an ex offender be re/integrated into employment & I'll add into formal educational programmes if they wish.
My own experience of working in the education sector and in the local community for many years has showed me that when professionals are faced with the decisions of employing or even accepting an individual onto a "formal" educational programme who has disclosed even a minor criminal offence highlighted the professionals own negative pre- conceptions about ex offenders such pre- conceptions played a massive role in their interactions with the individual and their decision making process.
In simple terms, on reflection, I feel some professional lacked the ideas of a "sociological imagination" they could not emphasise to the past, current or future circumstances of the individual.
So..I feel we are left in a predicament in the ideas of breaking down the barriers to employment for ex offenders even with the relevant legalisation and the good old "equal opportunity ...& diversity" staff training programmes. It seemed to me that it was the social & cultural experiences of the professionals that influenced the interactions/responses to the ex offender . Clearly there was some form of power relationship between the ex offender & professional.
Anyway thanks for the article and reminding me to reflect on these issues
Ps: "Sorry for the large volume of text"
Thanks for sharing this article. It will be useful with my studies on ex-inmates reentry.
An article that will be of interest to you will be:
Albright, S., Denq, F., (1996), Employer Attitudes Toward Hiring Ex-Offenders. The Prison Journal, 76 (2), 118-137. doi: 10.1177/0032855596076002002.
Within the EQUAL-Development Partnership ZUBILIS (Germany), evidence based data shows the importance of both, qualification and training with offenders and the networking with employers, to "break down the walls".
It has been brought to surface that the "barriers" of employers are often these kinds of stereotypes, which a good support of the transition from prison into work life (of the perspectives of the ex-offender) on one hand, and the lobbying activities and concrete support of the employer, in case of problems, are good strategies. Of course there is a concept of good training inprison and transition needed.
Some things are the same everywhere. Thanks for this
Wondering if anyone else has found what I have found through my research - that the privileging of offence- specifc programmes ( such as CBT for violent and sex offences) and drug rehab over work and education has resulted in a dimunition of focus in prisons on preparation for employment?
In NSW, out of 10,000 or so prisoners there are only about 90 or so in work release programmes.
Is this common to other jurisdictions?