The Benefit of Education and Employment for Offenders
It’s funny (or not) the amount of people I speak to, who think that people who commit a crime go to prison with the purpose of being punished.
Should an offender simply be punished for the criminal act they have committed, or should they be offered rehabilitation that serves to benefit not only themselves but also Society?
A key feature of the modern UK criminal justice system is the rehabilitation of offenders. In every prison, to varying degrees, work is going on to rehabilitate prisoners. In the past, this might have taken the form of trying to reform the character of the offenders, however the main emphasis is now of the prevention of reoffending.
What are the benefits to Offenders?
The main purpose of rehabilitation is the hope that it will prevent offenders from returning to a life of crime and ending up back in prison, the experience of prison life can be a sobering one for many prisoners, and education, of any kind can open many doors that might not have been available to them before. For many, the reason to turn to crime in the first place can simply be a lack of education and guidance leading to an inability to find a job and turning to a life of crime instead. With new skills and mentoring, positive changes can be made if the offender is determined that this is the path they want to take.
What are the benefits to Society?
In our experience, Education in Rehabilitation creates motivated candidates with vital skills who want to find employment, and are anxious to prove themselves on the job front. They are highly motivated; wanting to prove something not only to themselves but also to society. It is this motivation and determination that can, given the right nurturing workplace environment, make them valuable team members.
Employers across the UK are now fully understanding the benefits of employing people who have been in Prison. We are lucky to have great business leaders like Sir Richard Branson, Head of Virgin Group, who understands and promotes the effectiveness of offenders in the work place. James Timpson of Retailer Timpson’s, who has opened a specialist academy with the aim training offenders to be an integral part of his team. Also thanks to companies like Marks & Spencer, Pret a Manger and Sainsbury’s who are all champions in helping offenders with a second chance at life.
A rehabilitated offender who is successful, is one that is less likely to commit crime, which I am sure you would agree has a huge benefit to society.
Article by Liam Stacey.