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offenders in the
Presented by C. Simeone.
Anti Oppressive Behaviour.
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.
Explain and evaluate a range of
examples of discriminatory practice
and their effects.
Develop a range of strategies to
embed Equal Opportunities good
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
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
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.
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.
Women might assume that all men
Men might assume all women are
Society might assume that all
youth are vandals, and all football
fans are hooligans.
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
Less women in driving related jobs.
Young people become stigmatised; ‘It
was probably kids who smashed that
Football fans are excluded from certain
matches or even certain countries.
Can anyone relate to this, how does it
make you feel?
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
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.
We might assume that criminals are
all the same, and will never change,
or that they deserve whatever they
This is looking at the criminal, not as
an individual, but as part of a group.
Not All The Same.
In fact many ex-offenders change and
rehabilitate and go on to lead ordinary
Many are also involved in varied work,
often voluntarily, helping the community
from their own experiences for example
What About You?
Are you the same as everyone else?
Would you change your lifestyle if
given the opportunity?
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.
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
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.
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.
Finding a job can seem a
bewildering task especially if the
person lacks self confidence or
Prisoners looking for work need
the same support services as any
other unemployed person;Interview
skills, Job Seeking skills, CV
writing and so on.
They also must learn to deal with
issues and discrimination arising
from their Criminal Status by some
This has a lasting effect on their
ability to break away from the past
and also, on their future life
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
o Many ex- offenders do not rehabilitate
and therefore return to crime because of
the lasting effects of:
Labelling,Categorisation and Prejudice.
Unfamiliarity, Preconceptions and
Brought about by the beliefs and
ideologies of the government, media,
most prospective employers, and the
public in general.
There is more unemployment.
More fear in society.
A worsened society.
Worse prison conditions.
More money coming from our
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.
You have seen from the exercise,
how quickly and easily we became
prejudice to the concept of the ex-
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.
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.
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.
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
To be Anti-Oppressive we must
challenge Discrimination by taking
personal and /or moral responsibility.
We need to recognise and criticise
negative images of certain groups
and make a conscious effort to
challenge and replace them with
It is essential that that no one is
denied opportunities or excluded
just because they are seen as
Access to Social Work Level
Three. Equal Opportunities-Anti
Access to Psychology Level Three.
Open College Network Level Three
in association with Sova.