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Prejudice Against Ex-offenders in the Workplace

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Prejudice Against Ex-offenders in the Workplace

  1. 1. 1 Prejudice and Discrimination Against Ex- offenders in the Workplace Presented by C. Simeone. Anti Oppressive Behaviour.
  2. 2. 2 Introduction  The purpose of this presentation is to make you aware of one of the main reasons why many ex- offenders do not rehabilitate and therefore return to crime.  To disprove a wide range of arguments in favour of discriminatory practice.  Execute a range of techniques to challenge the use of discriminatory practice in the community.
  3. 3. 3 Introduction  Explain and evaluate a range of examples of discriminatory practice and their effects.  Develop a range of strategies to embed Equal Opportunities good practice.
  4. 4. 4 About Me. As I am currently acting as a Mentor for the Prison Service, I have first hand knowledge of the type of attitude most prisoners have towards the thought of facing an employer and disclosing their criminal record.
  5. 5. 5 Who Do I Mean? This presentation does not refer to the ‘Hardened Criminal’ or certain Category A and B offenders, but those who have committed certain crimes in their youth, not knowing any better or, because of personal circumstances and now wish to return to the community and settle down after having served their sentence.
  6. 6. 6 Main Ideas Covered  Assumptions.  Stereotyping.  Discrimination.  Unfamiliararity.  Categorisation.  Prejudice.  Discrimination.  Anti-Oppressive Practice.  Equal Opportunities.
  7. 7. 7 Assumptions All humans pre-judge others; It is not bad or illegal but is essential to human functioning, if we did not make assumptions it would mean we have very poor social skills.
  8. 8. 8 Stereotypes We all tend to categorise people who are different to us (Us and Them syndrome) and have Prejudices and Assumptions and create Stereotypes about others all through our lives, and even if we do not realise it, we are all subject to the same.
  9. 9. 9 Examples of Stereotyping.  Women might assume that all men are selfish.  Men might assume all women are bad drivers.  Society might assume that all youth are vandals, and all football fans are hooligans.
  10. 10. 10 Examples of Stereotyping. This is stereotyping brought about by some examples of this type of behaviour. Which can lead to all types of Discrimination:  Less men in care work and nursing.  Less women in driving related jobs.
  11. 11. 11 Examples of Stereotyping.  Young people become stigmatised; ‘It was probably kids who smashed that window’.  Football fans are excluded from certain matches or even certain countries. Can anyone relate to this, how does it make you feel?
  12. 12. 12 Challenging Discriminating Practice There is evidence to show that some women are in fact, better drivers than men, using more concentration and better judgement, and are less likely to take risks or speed, as they are more cautious.
  13. 13. 13 Challenging Discriminating Practice  Some men can be as caring as women if not more.  Many young people and football fans do a lot for the communities in which they live in and many are involved in charity work.
  14. 14. 14 Examples of Stereotyping. We might assume that criminals are all the same, and will never change, or that they deserve whatever they get. This is looking at the criminal, not as an individual, but as part of a group.
  15. 15. 15 Not All The Same. In fact many ex-offenders change and rehabilitate and go on to lead ordinary lives. Many are also involved in varied work, often voluntarily, helping the community from their own experiences for example drug rehabilitation.
  16. 16. 16 What About You? Are you the same as everyone else? Would you change your lifestyle if given the opportunity?
  17. 17. 17 Unfamiliarity The less familiar we are to groups of people the easier it is to make assumptions and carry stereotypes based on media images, our own limited experience of those groups and what we see and hear around us in the society we live in.
  18. 18. 18 Exercise If I were to say the word,’ ex- offender’. Very quickly, we all create a picture in our minds eye, based on our preconceptions, and we immediately create a label or stereotype.
  19. 19. 19 Categorisation Imagine if you were an employer. Before you have even met the person, you have created a bad impression in your mind. If that person were to come to you for work, already before the interview you have made assumptions, formed a stereotype and pre-judged him or her based on their criminal label. You have categorised them.
  20. 20. 20 Real Life Most prisoners face unemployment on release either because they were unemployed when they began their sentence or because they have lost their job because of their time in prison.
  21. 21. 21 Real Life  Finding a job can seem a bewildering task especially if the person lacks self confidence or motivation.  Prisoners looking for work need the same support services as any other unemployed person;Interview skills, Job Seeking skills, CV writing and so on.
  22. 22. 22 Real Life  They also must learn to deal with issues and discrimination arising from their Criminal Status by some prospective employers.  This has a lasting effect on their ability to break away from the past and also, on their future life chances.
  23. 23. 23 What This Means… Many ex-offenders are put off from even considering employment options as they believe that if they disclose their convictions, their chances of getting a job will be ruined.  If they do not disclose there is the added fear of being dismissed if found out.  Without the prospect of earning, many turn to crime to make a living.
  24. 24. 24 Not surprisingly, prisoners have strong feelings of apprehension around the issue of Disclosure, for whom the reality of their offending history can be the source of negative attitudes and emotions.
  25. 25. 25 Evaluation If more employers worked together with the prison service, and involved government opportunities such as New Deal, Progress to work, Job Centre Plus and so on; judging offenders / ex offenders on their skills, not just on their criminal history, fair recruitment policies would be encouraged.
  26. 26. 26 What Can Be Done? The employability of offenders / ex offenders would be promoted, bringing more opportunities before and after release and, therefore encouraging less re- offending.
  27. 27. 27 What Would Happen? Which would lead to a reduction in crime, and in the immense overcrowding problem that exists in prisons, which in its self causes further problems.
  28. 28. 28 Key Points o Many ex- offenders do not rehabilitate and therefore return to crime because of the lasting effects of:  Assumptions,Stereotyping, Labelling,Categorisation and Prejudice.  Unfamiliarity, Preconceptions and Discrimination. Brought about by the beliefs and ideologies of the government, media, most prospective employers, and the public in general.
  29. 29. 29 Which Means…  There is more unemployment.  More crime.  More Poverty.  More fear in society.  A worsened society.  Worse prison conditions.  More money coming from our taxes.
  30. 30. 30 It can be seen when certain groups; in this case ex- offenders, are denied opportunities, how it has a direct effect on ourselves and the society that we live in. Conclusion.
  31. 31. 31 You have seen from the exercise, how quickly and easily we became prejudice to the concept of the ex- offender. You are now more aware of the human tendency to quickly categorise people who are different to us or, because we are unfamiliar with them, and how it can effect their lives and our own. Awareness.
  32. 32. 32 Next Steps Once we are aware of how and why certain forms of discrimination occur and the lasting effects these can have on the people who are discriminated against, we can do something to change it.
  33. 33. 33 What Can We Do? You might be thinking ‘I have the right to my own opinion’ which is true; but we all have to take responsibility for our actions and inactions. If we want to change our environment we have to recognise our part in it and take responsibility for changing it.
  34. 34. 34 Anti- Oppressive Practice To enjoy our environment we must all contribute to its welfare by developing Anti-Oppressive Practice, which is central to ‘Good Practice’ and important in the workplace for managers, professionals and workers, who need to take account of different needs and different realities. To be Anti-Oppressive we must challenge Discrimination by taking personal and /or moral responsibility.
  35. 35. 35 Anti- Oppressive Practice We need to recognise and criticise negative images of certain groups and make a conscious effort to challenge and replace them with positive ones.
  36. 36. 36 Equal Opportunities It is essential that that no one is denied opportunities or excluded just because they are seen as being ‘different’.
  37. 37. 37 Sources.  Access to Social Work Level Three. Equal Opportunities-Anti Discriminatory Practice.  Access to Psychology Level Three. Social Perception.  Open College Network Level Three in association with Sova.