Finding employment after a conviction is difficult.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, for most jobs, you need to declare any previous convictions. In such a competitive job market, an employer is likely to choose someone who does not have a conviction over someone who does. Secondly, if someone has been to prison then they will have a gap in their employment history.
This can be very off-putting to employers. As a result, even people who have been wrongfully convicted may struggle to get work. Follow this link to find out how to get help for a wrongful conviction. Finally, if people have spent a long time in prison, they may find it difficult to re-enter society and function as they should. This can result in mental health problems, loneliness or problems upkeeping a home.
A study in 2018 in the USA showed that people who had been to prison were five times more likely to be unemployed. The study also established that Black or Hispanic people, especially women, were at an even greater disadvantage. Furthermore, this does nothing to illustrate the number of people who have had to change their career path due to a conviction.
Here is some advice for people with a conviction looking for employment.
Depending on the work you are looking for you may need to disclose your conviction. Some organizations may carry out checks, so you should try and let them know about your conviction before they find out from other means.
Firstly, you should find out what convictions remain on your record. You may not have to disclose everything. Secondly, you should be prepared to talk about any convictions which are on your record. You may want to write a disclosure letter to your employer outlining your conviction, what circumstances caused you to commit the crime and why your circumstances are different now. Explain that you are not a risk to their organization. Finally, explain to them why you would make a great employee.
You can find out more about what to disclose and how here.
There may be a local charity that could assist you in finding work. Do some research and find out if any support is available.
You could also ask friends and family if they know of any work. Sometimes the best way to overcome barriers in employment is to know people.
Find a way of networking. Consider using LinkedIn to expand your professional network.
You could also volunteer while you are looking for work. This will help to bridge the gap in your employment history and will help you to meet people. Some organizations specifically look to have volunteers who have a criminal background.
Finding employment after a conviction is challenging. However, don’t give up. You may have to start small and work your way up again. It all depends on what your conviction is and what it is you want to do. If you are struggling, get help from a professional.
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