Employers often say that their main obstacle to Recruiting With Conviction is unknown risk. Employers don’t feel comfortable assessing risk that ex-offenders pose and why should they?
One clear response from a justice professional on this subject, came from Damian Evans, the Governor at HMP Highpoint in Suffolk at a conference organised by Business in the Community in February 2012.
He said that prison staff are the experts in risk assessment and that employers should contact the prison for advice. (or words to that effect)
Recruit With Conviction guide employers to engage with Justice Professionals if they have risk concerns after a disclosure. Employer anxieties are typically disproportionate to the real risk.
Rehabilitation reports would have to be very simple, so the report would contain one of a number of single simple statements written in wording that employers can understand. For example “This person has addressed the root causes of their offending”.
Each rehabilitation report would include a date validity statement to guide employers.
Is it practical? Hold your breath and wait for derision from justice colleagues – but it is what employers want and it may form part of a solution which includes Ban the Box and an application process to remove convictions from the record early when an individual can evidence their progress.