Career Connect

Career Connect’s analysis of employment figures for those leaving prison between March 2021 and March 2022 concludes that despite an increase, there will be a need for more sustained employment support for ex-offenders as the country deals with the cost-of-living crisis and wider economic challenges.

Data from England released earlier this year shows a large increase in those finding employment within six weeks of leaving prison in the 12 months from March 2021 to March 2022.

Analysing the figures in detail, Career Connect’s research team explored the reason this was occurring.

Our analysis considered information about people’s employment status post release, the profile of those being released, and the wider labour market.

Career Connect’s research concluded that the rise in employment between March 2021-March 2022 is largely because of the record number of vacancies as the labour market recovers from the restrictions resulting from the covid pandemic.

The research report welcomes the emphasis in the recent Prisons Strategy White Paper on measures to strengthen post custodial employment outcomes.

But with the trend for post-custodial employment tied closely to the wider market trends rather than improvements in support for ex-offenders to gain and keep employment, there will likely be an increased need for support services to help ex-offenders access employment over the coming months and years as the country faces a cost-of-living crisis and wider economic challenges.

Gary Mundy, Director of Research and Evaluation at Career Connect said: “Gaining employment after prison is vital in preventing re-offending.

“Our analysis shows that the recent increase in post-custodial employment is heavily tied to wider economic trends, and therefore the justice sector should prepare to increase targeted support for those leaving prison as the economy fluctuates.

“Targeted services for those leaving prison are much needed, as is stronger evidence of what works so that effective support can be understood and adopted at greater scale.

“This will help the justice sector to meet what will be a growing need, as business and industry responds to the ongoing economic challenges.”

Read the full report: Pathways from prison to employment: recent trends and future needs.

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