There are two important issues that stimulates re-offending. The first is a lack of suitable accomodation and the second being unable to secure meaningful employment.
Ex-offenders are required to declare all unspent criminal convictions if asked on an application form. Research undertaken by CIPD (Chartered Institute for Professional Development) and the Social Exclusion Unit (Previously based in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) acknowledges that the vast majority of employers disregard applications where declarations of criminal convictions are provided, regardless of the position that an ex-offender is applying for.
Would there be some merit in including ex-offenders in equality law to ensure that disposing of application forms soley on a criminal record being declared is simply not acceptable? Whilst I appreciate that some may argue that equality law is not about what 'one' has done but is about who one is I would suggest that the disproportional number of BME boys in prison reflects that in some cases people are more likely to obtain a criminal record than others because of who they are.
Why is this idea important?
Taxpayers money is used to:
- Identify high crime areas
- Tackle perpetrators of crime
- Rehabilitate offenders (through providing them with training, skills, education and drug treatment
However, if an offender can then not find suitable employment they are more likely to re-offend, regardless of how well equipt they are to do a job. This creates a trap of Government investing in ex-offenders to reduce re-offending but ex offenders being unable to find suitable employment and so on.