Applying for a job with a criminal record can be really difficult which is why, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at different avenues you can explore when looking for a new career.
For anyone with a criminal record, finding and securing a job is the first step toward successfully re-entering the world. Recent studies have shown that former criminals who are able to hold down jobs once they have been released from prison are less likely to end up back in jail.
However, finding a job can be particularly challenging when you’re a former criminal. Many employers will, understandably, be reluctant and have a risk-averse attitude towards recruiting people who have previous sentences.
Sexual offenders, in particular, may experience practical issues when applying for jobs. They may encounter restrictions on internet usage if police workers previously had to investigate phone forensics for child sexual offences, or they may not know what types of industries they’re allowed to apply for.
In this article, we’ll be exploring different job ideas and support available when looking for a new profession…
What is The Law for Employing Ex-offenders?
Before diving into the different jobs available to you, let’s familiarise ourselves with what the law is.
Since 1997, any individual convicted, cautioned, or released from prison for sexual offences is put on the sex offenders register (SOR). Under the Sex Offenders Act 1997, as amended by the Sexual Offences Act 2003, all those convicted of sex offences must register with the police within three days of their conviction or release from prison. This service is monitored by the police, who receive a notification from the courts after conviction.
Those with convictions must inform the police within three days if they decide to move or change their name. Failing to register is an offence which can lead to imprisonment.
Offenders must also disclose if they’re spending seven or more days away from their home address. Registrants are also required to make an annual report, every twelve months, with their local police service.
The severity of the offence and whether the offender was given a jail sentence determines how long the individual will have to remain on the register. A lengthy jail sentence can result in the offender remaining on the list indefinitely, yet a caution can be a minimum of two years.
What Support is Available to me?
Applying for jobs on release from prison could prove difficult. However, there are organisations out there to help you. UK-based charity, Circles, is one of these, offering plenty of support and practical guidance to convicted sex offenders.
The charity works closely with criminal justice agencies and has a number of local support groups dotted across the country. Circles’ main aims are to reduce alienation, prevent sexual reoffending, and reintegrate offenders back into society. The charity also has a number of helpful resources on its website.
Job Ideas for Individuals With a Record
Below we’ll be taking a look at the different types of industries and jobs that could be perfect for you…
Working in the catering industry can offer you a good salary and a sense of security once you’ve finished serving your sentence. In the UK, there are a number of charities and hospitality apprenticeships that help train ex-offenders for jobs in the industry.
Clink Kitchens is a charity that has been designed to help train individuals, with a criminal record to work at eateries across the UK. Clink has taken part in a government initiative to reduce reoffending rates, and the charity has found that participants were 32 per cent less likely to go on to commit further crimes compared to those who did not receive training.
2. Start your own business
Many of us will have dreamt about starting our own business at some point. However, there is a lot that will need to go into planning to make it possible.
Startup is a UK-based charity that aims to cut reoffending rates by offering ex-offenders a new lease of life. The programme can support individuals with a criminal record by providing the opportunity to become self-employed and start their own business. To get in contact, you can write to them by briefly detailing your previous experience, your personal details, and any business ideas you may have.
Currently, in the UK, there are a number of schemes that offer prisoners and ex-offenders paid work on construction sites. The Brighter Pathways programme is one of these schemes, that has seen a significant reduction in reoffending rates as a result. The programme offers sustainable training and development opportunities to help support ex-offenders back into their local communities.
4. Lorry driving
Since 2019, the Department of Transport has been investing in programmes designed to bring new talent to the transport industry. One of these initiatives is the Road to Logistics programme, which helps encourage those with a criminal past to enter the industry.
A New Career Path…
Finding and securing a job can be the first step toward successfully re-entering society. However, ex-offenders can face a number of challenges when it comes to job-hunting, as many employers may be reluctant to recruit individuals with a criminal past.
Despite this, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of finding a job that suits you. This can include looking up government schemes and charities that support individuals with a criminal record. Also, looking up companies or industries that have a proactive policy in recruiting people with criminal convictions will be a good start.