Seminar and campaign launch, 26th September 2017
Studies show that securing employment or training, and the ability to rebuild a life after committing an offence, is crucial to breaking the cycle of offending.
Ireland introduced 'Spent Convictions' legislation in 2016, which means that certain convictions can now become spent, while others can continue to present barriers to work, education, training, insurance, and travel.
In light of this, the IPRT held a seminar entitled 'Working with Conviction' on Tuesday 26th September in Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2.
The seminar focused on the recruitment of people with convictions and with experience of imprisonment, with the aim of encouraging better responses to previous offenders seeking employment and providing leadership to local employers. We hope this event, and our wider 'Spent Convictions' campaign will create a wide discourse around the following areas:
- Employment of former prisoners;
- Employment of people with convictions histories;
- Barriers to insurance for people with convictions histories;
- Barriers to accessing further education for those with convictions histories.
We were proud to welcome James Timpson OBE, Chair of Prison Reform Trust UK, as our keynote speaker. James is Chief Executive of Timpson, a family business of 1,400 shops across the UK and Ireland. 10% of his colleagues were recruited directly from prison, making Timpson the largest employer of ex-offenders in the UK. Timpson actively interview prisoners from a pool of 80 prisons in the UK, with a view to employing them on release.
- Paddy Richardson, Chief Executive of IASIO (Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders)
- Niall Walsh, Manager of Pathways
- Philip Richardson, Youth Cultivator, formerly of Solas Project
- Mairéad Deevy, Barrister-at-Law
- Kieran Moylan, Principal, Care & Rehabilitation Directorate, Irish Prison Service
At the seminar, we launched two information videos, produced by SpunOut.
- The video on spent convictions can be viewed here.
- The video on expungement of convictions under the Children Act can be viewed here.
Alongside these videos, a poster detailing the conditions to be met in order for a conviction to become spent was also launched. The poster is available here.
- RTÉ Morning Ireland: IPRT's Acting Executive Director, Fíona Ní Chinnéide spoke to Audrey Carville about the issues of employment and convictions. Listen back here.
- Newstalk: Paddy Richardson, IASIO, spoke to Newstalk's Ivan Yates on the importance of employment to support rehabilitation. Listen back here.
- RTÉ Drivetime: Brian Lally reported on the seminar, including interviews with speakers. Listen back here, from 2:11:36.
- Today FM The Last Word: Matt Cooper interviewed Fíona Ní Chinnéide on why employers should look past criminal records when recruiting employees. Listen back here, from 00:53:20.
- Irish Examiner: 'Give ex convicts the opportunity to work'.
- Irish Legal News: 'Penal reform group encourages employers to consider recruiting people with convictions'.
- TheJournal.ie: 'People we recruit from prison are on average more loyal, more honest and stay with us for longer'.
If you require any further information on this event, or the campaign please contact Pamela, Campaigns and Admin Officer at: email@example.com or (01) 874 1400.
Photos: Mark Stedman Photography
More photos from the seminar are available on our Flickr here.
This campaign is kindly supported by The Community Foundation for Ireland.