This week I heard kenneth Clarke talk about improved rehabilitation programs for offenders and the importance of replacing a number of short term sentances in favour of better community based sentences. The logic is to cut out the expense of meeting the high costs of short term sentances and so help with the current public finance deficit.

I myself am an ex- offender. Offences committed over 28 years ago still follow me around like a bad smell. The way in which the rehabilitation offenders act is biased toward the personal prejudices of the person reading a CRB disclosure means that the act is easily abused by whoever feels the need to abuse it. The notion of rehabilitation is often dangled like a carrot in front of an offender in order to pursuade them that acceptance and forgiveness of their past will follow if that person changes for the better. This is the problem, the point at which an ex offender has become 'rehabilitated' is not recognised or 'agreed upon' by anyone. In short, payday never comes.

I would like to suggest a change in the rehabilitatrion of offenders act.

why should a disclosure to an employer have to include offences that would not prohibit a person from doing that job? for example: working with children should prompt a response to the following question; have you commited any offences committed against children?. and not (please include all other stuff which is not relevant so that we can make an immediate personal judgement on your character based on your past)

Why then should this disclosure include offences such as 'car theft' for example? especially when the car theft was committed a lifetime ago. This makes the notion of rehabilitation a farce, and an insult to many people who have changed thier lives for the better. Why should we constantly be reminded of something we did when we were young and immature? and why should it have any bearing on the present? This is exactly the opposite of Rehabilitation.

Why is this idea important?

It is important to me because it affects my prospects for finding work

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