Engaging with Ex-Offenders

Get Started. It's Free
or sign up with your email address
Engaging with Ex-Offenders by Mind Map: Engaging with Ex-Offenders

1. Contribution - high interest stakeholders

1.1. High influence

1.1.1. Sponsors Voluntary and community organisations who support ex-offenders volunteering can struggle to maintain funding (See link: page 38) Ensuring the commissioning process recognises volunteer management costs (See link: page 33) Most employers have no written policy on the recruitment of ex- offenders, and most are reluctant to develop such policies (See link: page 6) Empoyers agree there would have to be a very strong case to develop specific policies for ex-offenders (See link: page 8) Raising public awareness of the needs of offenders and the work of the Criminal Justice System (See link: page 10) Inconsistent leadership and resources for the support of volunteering for ex-offenders(See link: page 6) A senior manager should champion ex-offender volunteering in their organisation (See link: page 9) Include ex-offenders who can advise senior management (See link: page 2) Scarcity of robust evidence regarding the added value of volunteering for ex-offenders (See link: page 6) (Also see link: page 36)

1.1.2. Blockers Dramatic growth of risk management in the voluntary and community sector (See link: page 36) (Also, see link: page 19 - fig 3) Volunteering organisations not welcoming ex-offenders as volunteers due to their past (See link: page 2) Also, employer concerns that recruiting ex-offenders could put their organisation at risk (See link: page 6) Also, stigma attached to a member of the community being in prison (See link: page 19 - fig 3) Some employers concerned that adopting an ex-offender recruitment policy gives the impression to the public, staff and customers they are actively seeking to recruit ex-offenders (See link: page 6) Also, negative percetions of prisons and the probation service (See link: page 19 - fig 3) Policies that ban ex-offenders from volunteering or require sentences to be spent for over 12 or 24 months (See link: page 19 - fig 3)

1.2. Low influence

1.2.1. Beneficiaries Ex-offenders who have benefitted from volunteering can progress to peer-volunteering roles and other advisory roles (See link: page 3) Also, see the volunteering progression for an offender (See link: page 17 - fig 2) Worthwhile and well-designed volunteer opportunities are greatly appreciated by ex-offenders (See link: page 3) A long history of involving volunteers for prisoners and ex-offenders has resulted in numerous successes (See link: page 7)

1.2.2. Victims Ex-offenders have few vocational skills and low level of educational attainment (see link: page 25) Provide opportunities to develop via prison volunteering programmes (see link: page 15) The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974)  and Criminal Record Bureau Checks are too complex, and have too many exemptions (see link: page 29) Before an offer is withdrawn in case of a disclosure, it must be discussed with the applicant (see link: page 16) Disregard irrelevant restrictions in Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (see link: page 15) Ensure volunteer adverts state that a criminal record will not necessarily prevent volunteering work (see link: page 16) Employees may be wary about working alongside ex-offenders (See link: page 9) Guidance for protection staff & volunteers who work alongside ex-offenders (See link: page 40) Ex-offenders who volunteer may be treated less favourably than other volunteers (See link: page 3) Organisations that recruit ex-offenders as volunteers to develop a policy to reflect this (See link: page 3)

2. Contribution - low interest stakeholders

2.1. High Influence

2.1.1. Positive influencers Volunteering within the correctional services has developed in the absence of overall leadership and co-ordination - a fragmented approach (See link: page 18) Inadequate leadership and co-ordination between prisons and probations services (See link: page 7) Without a lead within prisons and probation services, nothing much will happen (See link: page 5) Volunteer management practices can vary between and within prisons and probation services (See link: page 5) Staff responsible for volunteer development have numerous other competing roles and responsibilities with prison or probation services (See link: page 5) Probation services not building on, or recognising experience gained from undertaking volunteering in prisons (See link:page 26) Third sector organisations working with ex-offenders can have poor sustainability and networking and poor access to development opportunities (See link: page 6) There is momentum towards parthership-working and the development of the Faith and VCS Alliance (See link: page 6) NOMS aims to better engage with diverse organisations, making use of their expertise and links to users and communities (See link: page 5) There are few opportunities for prisoners to volunteer outside of the prison environment (See link: page 17) 'Peer volunteer' prisoners have more opportunity for volunteering in the community (See link: page 21) Prisons & probation services keen to encourage service users of 'peer volunteering' to move on to volunteering opportunities (See link: pages 41 & 50) There is a wealth of experience and local knowledge in ex-offenders and volunteering (See link: page 6) Well-established work of faith-based organisations (See link: page 5) There is a conducive social and political environment to support volunteering for ex-offenders (See link: page 6) Volunteering to help with reducing offending fits well with wider government policies and initiatives around the development of volunteering (See link: page 26)

2.1.2. Negative influencers Some funders (and the general public) may not be supportive of projects that involve ex-offenders as volunteers (See link: page 3) Some employers had developed links with agencies that work with unemployed ex-offenders, but did not wish to make this public (See link: page 7) Employers do not want to be attacked in the press when they take a reasonable approach to the employment of ex-offenders (See link: page 8) A rapidly changing environment in the Criminal Justice System, which creates uncertaintly and hinders the development of volunteering programmes (See link: page 19)

2.2. Low influence

2.2.1. Bystanders Lack of motivation and self-confidence (see link: page 25) Develop volunteering opportunities for prisoners (See link: page 15) Provision of support from within the prison/probation services for ex-offenders to volunteer (See link: page 36) Develop 'peer volunteering' opportunities for ex-offenders (See link: pages 13-14) Establishing a recognition scheme for volunteering (See link: page 7) Lack of social and professional networks which would assist ex-offenders to find a placement (see link: page 25) Develop personal networks through ex-offender peer volunteers (See link: page 4) Ex-offenders had not been asked to volunteer (See link: page 2) A lack of awareness among the general public of the opportunities for engaging with the Criminal Justice System (See link: page 19 - fig 3) Engaging local people in developing local solutions to local problems (See link: page 15) Raising public awareness of the needs of offenders and the work of the Criminal Justice System (See link: page 10) Volunteer mentors for ex-offenders develops the relationship between offenders and the community (See link) Plenty of volunteering roles for prisoners to engage with, to prepare them for integration into the community (See link: page 3)

3. Commitment

3.1. Achievement

3.1.1. Ex-offenders can gain new skills, interests and experiences (and references) through volunteering, and also helps with employablility (See link: page 3) (Also, see link: page 28) (Also see link: page 5)

3.1.2. Volunteering can help ex-offenders to develop their attituted and beliefs (See link: page 4)

3.2. Status/Influence/Esteem

3.2.1. (also see link: page 32) Disclosure, information must be kept secret by organisations when recruiting (see link: page 15) Refrain from asking for information about criminal convictions until face-to-face (See link: page 58)

3.2.2. Ex-offenders can feel embarrassment and shame in having to disclose their criminal records (See link: page 3) (Also see link: page 31) Taking a measured and commonsence approach to dealing with applications from ex-offenders (See link: page 3)

3.2.3. Ex-offenders can feel exploited when not being paid for the work they are doing (See link: page 46) Can feel rewards which equalled getting paid [e.g. training, lunch, travel expenses, work experience etc.] (See link: page 48)

3.2.4. A lack of confidence in new environments and relationships (See link: page 2)

3.2.5. Volunteering for ex-offenders can boost confidence and increase self-esteem (See link: page 3) Key issues is that ex-offenders are given responsibility at a time when decisions are made for them rather than by them (See link: page 6) Volunteering gives ex-offenders a sense of empowerment and fulfilment that may hev been sought for unsuccessfully in the past (See link: page 3) Volunteering helps to break the stigma attached to being an offender and highlights the potential to change (See link: page 4)

3.3. Social/Affiliation

3.3.1. Volunteering can help prisoners feel part of society again before they are released (See link: page 20)

3.4. Safety

3.4.1. Ex-offenders fear having to disclose their past convictions (see link: page 20)

3.4.2. Prejudice and stereotypes held by organisations put ex-offenders off from volunteering (see link: page 18) Make sure your equal opportunities policy covers ex-offenders (see link: page 15) Sample policy (See link: page 16) Make it clear in adverts that applications from people with a criminal record will be welcomed (See link: page 1) Some funders (and the general public) may not be supportive of projects that involve ex-offenders as volunteers (See link: page 3)

3.4.3. Volunteering for ex-offenders can provide stability and routine (See link: page 3)

3.5. Practicality

3.5.1. Costs associated with volunteering if expenses are not covered (See link: page 3) Encouraging service providers to implement an expenses policy (See link: page 7) Ensuring the commissioning process recognises volunteer management costs (See link: page 33)

3.5.2. Evidence that volunteers are lost due to the very lengthy security clearance and CRB checks (See link: page 19 - fig 3)

4. Competence

4.1. Skills/Capability

4.1.1. Organisational Shortcomings in volunteer management practices, including poor recruitment mechanisms and non-payment of expenses (See link: page 19 - fig 3) Recruitment practices Role design Ongoing support Other management issues Guidance for involving ex-offenders as volunteers Summary checklist (See link) Guidance on role-design, recruitment, induction, support and supervision (See link) Project managers will benefit from advice and support of a specialist agency that works with ex-offenders (See link: page 9) Recruiting responsibly: a guide for employers (See link: pages11-15)

4.1.2. Individual Ex-offenders not used to interacting with public (see link: page 40) Also, offenders who particpate in volunteering programmes in prison does not ensure they can manage social challenges volunteering presents in the community (See link: page 13) Ex-offenders struggle in a volunteering context (various links) Volunteers have trouble putting together a CV and find the process of an interview a challenge (See link: page 28) 80% of prisoners have writing skills at or below the level expected of an 11-year-old in reading [65% in numeracy, and 50% in reading] (See link: page 4) 90% of offenders suffer from at least one mental health problem (See link: page 5) Ex-offender volunteers would like 1-1 support from people with similar backgrounds (See link: page 4)

4.2. Knowledge

4.2.1. Organisational The inappropriate and often unnecessary application of the CRB checks by organisations that involve volunteers (See link: page 1) Guidance on when to ask for a CRB disclosure and how to make a decision to recruit an ex-offender (See link: pages 1-3) Criminal Records Bureau checks - guidance from the Cabinet Office (See link) Guidance on the role of the Independent Safeguarding Authority and the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (See link) Discrepancies can occur between what a potential volunteer had revealed and what is recorded on a Disclosure certificate (See link: page 2) Delay a decision to recruit until the CRB has confirmed a mistake has been made (See link: page 2) Guidance on gathering information about criminal records (See link: page 5)

4.2.2. Individual Ex-offenders unaware of what volunteering is, and how it can be relevant (See link: page 13) (Also see link: page 2)