Offploy engages with employers to encourage them to consider applicants with a criminal conviction without prejudice. One of the many ways we do this is via our prison visit days.
An effective means to advocate for candidates with criminal convictions is educating employers on the facts of hiring someone who has a criminal conviction by doing things like giving them the information on what kind of DBS checks they need to run and what the different outcomes may mean.
One way of encouraging employers to consider ex-offenders is by opening their eyes to life within a prison. Majority of people have never stepped foot inside a prison and the ideals of it are based off dramas seen through TV and movies. Offploy offers a prison visit day for employers who are considering filling their vacancies with candidates who have spent time in incarceration. These visits are extremely beneficial and eye opening.
COVID has of course interrupted the ability to conduct these prison visit days, but they will return soon as we make further steps to return towards normality. The purpose of the day allows potential employers to see what goes on inside a prison and to get a feel for the prisoner’s everyday life and the opportunities they have within incarceration.
The agenda of the day can depend on what the employer is hoping to gain from the visit and potentially at what industry they are looking to hire for. Usually, the visits would take place in the morning time and start with a meeting in the prison café where all the food and drink served is prepared by the inmates. This allows the potential employer to see the inmates at work and the skills that they have. This would usually be followed with a tour around the prison and showcasing the different workshops and educational settings that are set up within the prison. This is particularly important as it allows employers to see the vast range of skills that a prisoner can work on during their time in prison.
There would also be an opportunity to meet some of the prisoners as the tour goes on, this is great as it allows potential employers to see these people with criminal convictions as genuine people instead of this force of evil which can be portrayed within our minds.
The day would end with a confidential workshop for the employers where they can freely ask questions or voice their concerns with no judgement. It is an excellent opportunity for them to be able to work out any barriers that they may have to hiring someone with a conviction. This would also include a presentation on how to do risk assessments and how to deal with certain processes like DBS certificates. This workshop encourages employers to look at people on a case-by-case basis rather than under an umbrella term of having a criminal conviction.
These prison visit days are a unique opportunity which have shown to be very positive and effective in getting employers to expand their horizon for candidates.
Thank you to Richard Strauss the director of sustainability for the information on what usually takes place during these prison visit days.