GB Job Clubs Directors in Prison – Doing Time with the Magnificent Seven
I had the dubious pleasure of joining my co -Director Jane Gould this afternoon as she delivered our first Prisons workshop at Guys Marsh Prison. We met seven amazing guys who are all soon to be released. A day that started with trepidation and a certain unease on my part ended with the most wonderful sense of hope.
Our magnificent seven new friends agreed that having a criminal record all but extinguished opportunity yet as we talked it became clear that we were meeting with men of talent, ingenuity and a burning desire not to trouble the justice system again. However the system is stacked against them, when they are released they invariably end up in the same environment and circumstances that brought them to the attention of the authorities in the first place. How can we break the cycle, recidivism is now an expensive and burning issue that begs innovative solutions. We certainly don’t know all the answers however we choose to believe in people and their own ability to lift themselves above the malaise of circumstance that traps them in the revolving door.
Our approach is to follow up our pre release workshops by offering them the opportunity to meet a Jobseeker Buddy who will visit them before release and then see them on a weekly basis to help them find work once they are released. It will be difficult process for many but having someone who really takes an interest in you, someone who listens is a good way to start.
Currently most are released on a Friday with perhaps £100 in their pocket and no support so the inevitable happens, the money is spent quickly in the pub on booze some maybe on drugs and before long our friend now with no cash resorts to desperate measures. All the resolve we witnessed today has dissipated and they soon find themselves back inside. The Charity Caring for Ex Offenders meets the prisoner at the gates on release and helps them through the process of reintegration this is recognised as a major contributor to breaking the cycle.
Perhaps we can fan the glimmers of hope and aspiration we saw today into flames of achievement. Please contact us if you would like to join our volunteer Jobseeker Buddy team we still need some mentors for our magnificent Seven who will all soon be released into communities in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.
Are you able to employ an ex offender we have several painter/decorators, a bright guy with a real passion and aptitude for web design/IT and studying for MCSA qualification and a trainee accountant/bookkeeper. Your help could make a HUGE difference, thank you.
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com