New body aims to get ex-prisoners back into work
22 May 2018
An organisation which will
encourage employers to give jobs to ex-offenders is due to be
Release Scotland will involve businesses, charities and
government agencies to help people who have been in prison to get
back into work.
The new body says research indicates about a third of men in
Scotland have a previous conviction, and for women the figure is
about one in 10.
However, 75% of UK companies would not consider recruiting an
Release Scotland will aim to change attitudes, and to widen the
understanding of the benefits that people who have been through the
justice system can bring.
Pete White, of Release Scotland, said people with past offences
were far less likely to re-offend if they had a job.
He said: "Not only does reducing the level of reoffending mean
there will be fewer victims of crime and less harm done, but as
employed taxpayers, people with convictions are better able to
contribute to the task of making Scotland a better place.
"It's generally understood that people who have come through the
justice system and will start work will probably be committed to
doing the best they can in the workplace, often over and above the
call of duty, so there are clear benefits for business.
"In addition, the fact that big companies such as Virgin, Greggs
and Timpson are known to employ people with convictions, far from
damaging their brands, has enhanced them."
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: "There are clear social and
economic benefits to helping people with convictions move on and
play a positive role in helping Scotland's economy flourish.
"The Scottish government supports the aims of Release Scotland
and we are committed to helping more men and women with a criminal
record turn their lives around and gain employment."
Source - BBC Scotland Website