Posts Tagged ‘Json Keto Edwards’

LAPEL – a way forward for increasing the participation of local communities in the rehabilitation of ex-offenders

06/09/2012, 04:31:25 PM

Last week Json Keto Edwards won the “top of the policies” vote at Pragmatic Radicalism’s event on local government in Southwark. The winning proposal tackled the question of how to bes tsupport ex-offenders.

LAPEL stands for the Life After Prison Employment League. It is a policy proposal that offers a new way to re-integrate ex-offenders into the community, and, critically, prevent re-offending.

Punishments vary in degree when the courts assess punitive sanctions but in reality, a conviction is a conviction no matter how petty or serious the issue.

Finding employment is naturally not an easy task, but when an individual has a previous conviction be it spent or unspent it is an even taller order. We all now live in a world where most employers including professional bodies demand to know if a prospective employee has any convictions.

The irony about this question is that when such information is disclosed, chances are the individual does not make the shortlist. If not disclosed before employment it may form the basis of a later dispute or sacking following such appointment.

As an employer who has employed people with previous convictions, I have found these individuals worthy candidates with a strong desire to want to prove themselves deserving of the opportunity given them. I also believe that a legacy founded on employers supporting this group would only serve to reduce re-offending.

Based on this experience, my organisation Chainges Today is leading calls for a new approach to supporting ex-offenders. We believe LAPEL could be a vital tool in rehabilitating and re-settling ex-offenders.

The programme would involve an accreditation that can be displayed by employers showing their social responsibility in supporting the rehabilitation of ex-offenders.

Ex-offenders would be able to qualify for a parallel certification that would demonstrate their commitment to rehabilitation and could be presented to potential employers.


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