Credit crunch makes it harder to re-integrate prisoners in society

February 11, 2009

One under reported impact of the recession is that it makes it much harder to reintegrate ex-prisoners into society.

Strong evidence shows that having a stable job is key to avoiding re-offending. So with economists forecasting a 12 year high in the total number of unemployed people by next year – 3 million – it doesn’t look hopeful for ex-prisoners. The skies are looking black for the country’s recent graduates so imagine how bleak it must seem to those recently released from prison.

Even with the recent focus of resettlement work on getting prisoners into employment, times are going to be hard especially when [too] often the development has been in those industries that are being affected most by the recession such as construction.


2 Responses to “Credit crunch makes it harder to re-integrate prisoners in society”

  1. My comment is that having the right skills in demand and fitting the job remain the key criterion for getting a job successfully. Our charity runs a UR4Driving school for ex-offenders. We believe that if they can get a driving license, they can get a driving job. No all unemployed people or recently redundant middle managers will try for or aspire to driving jobs and may not be as qualified either.
    New Social enterprises target low scale jobs which are the first to be created as the economy moves out of recession.
    So my point is that we shouldn’t write off any individual ex-offender who gets the relevant skills for the jobs that are newly created which others don’t compete for.

  2. rebeccada Says:

    Thanks for letting me know about your charity Bruce, looks like you work in some really interesting areas.

    My main concern in this blog centres on the fact that the skills that prisoners are being given the opportunity to gain or develop seem to be in those industries that already exist, that are unlikely to create new roles or jobs and are arguably being hit the hardest by the recession.

    It takes so much time and money for a prison to build a workshop and it just seems to me that in these times of crisis, when resettlement becomes an even greater and more important task, this level of inflexibility (i.e. not being able to change a bricklaying workshop overnight) simply works against the huge amount of work that has already gone into improving resettlement opportunities in many of the prisons.

    I am absolutely not saying that any individual should be written off, but that while we congratulate the improvements in resettlement opportunities, we recognise the need to build in a degree of flexibility to allow for unplanned events. Or maybe there’s a bigger issue here about being more strategic about what the resettlement opportunities are and what they teach so that they focus on a broader range of skills rather than a particular vocation… a thought for another blog perhaps?!

    I’d be interested to know your thoughts on this.

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