Employment and Ex-Offenders

A look at the issues confronting an individual with a criminal conviction who seeks employment.

This paper examines the issues that affect persons with criminal convictions when they attempt to enter the labor market, whether it be by acquiring a job, doing voluntary work, or seeking further qualifications. It outlines some of the personal and practical problems such an individual could come across and how these could impede his way forward. It also explores some of the anxieties that prospective employers may have in employing someone with a criminal conviction and discusses what effect this has on the prospective employee.
“There are many barriers to be faced by individuals with criminal convictions and they could come under three groups, employers attitudes. Lack of skills and qualifications and other practical or personal problems inherent to that individual. Employers have anxieties about employing anyone with a criminal conviction, the most significant of these being that the person could subsequently offend against the employer or his staff. This could also give the employer worries about his legal liabilities in the case of employing an ex-offender. These anxieties persist even though reports and studies have shown that ex-offenders who work are much less likely to re-offend if employed.”