After leaving the physical incarceration, ex-offenders end up getting into the "second prison", where they need to rip down the unseen walls developed by the social stigma, worries and distrust from the contemporary society (Youth Reloaded, 2005). Because state of mind and behaviour are difficult to improve, they often times find difficulties in integrating back to the population. If the situation does not improve, inequality will persist in the culture. We should then put into practice pragmatic answers to alleviate the discrimination against them.
Ex-offenders are those people who have finished portion their prison term or those with a criminal history or history (Guralnik, 1970). Every year in Singapore, around 11, 000 ex-convicts are released back again to the population (Singapore Jail Service). The work information is one of the main element indicators on the ability of these ex-offenders to reintegrate efficiently in the population. Industrial & Services Co-Operative Modern culture (ISCOS) has helped 3, 000 ex-offenders to find careers so far (938Live, 2010). 81 percent of these who got a job remained on for three months (Singapore Firm of Rehabilitative Enterprises, 2008). In this essay, I seek to go over on the complexities, implications, and propose solutions on discrimination against ex-offenders.
Support programmes such as the Yellow Ribbon Job (YRP) and organisations such as SCORE exist and it is important that we evaluate the performance of these organisations in helping ex-offenders to reintegrate into the society. In my opinion, isolating other results, the re-integration rate will therefore will serve as a sign of the level of discrimination against these ex-offenders.
The little connection between the public and ex-inmates is because feeling of unequal treatments and stereotyping. The general public snacks ex-offenders unfairly as they believe that they should make up for his or her wrongdoing. Ex-offenders themselves are also aware of the prejudice against them. Some resigned this with their fate and finished up avoid checking to the culture. It is therefore important that people recognize the existence of such issues and raise awareness to lessen the degree of discrimination and assist these ex-offenders.
Firstly, almost all of the offenders have tattoos on their body, which implies status, ability and belonging to a certain group. Because of stereotyping, we have a tendency to group those people who have tattoos as those people who have committed crimes. Out of fear and concerns to be associated with these folks, we reacted by ranking far away. That which you failed to recognise is that how exactly we interpret the information we obtained impacts our judgement. These tattoos might have been due to a moment of folly during their adolescent level.
On an organisational level, some employers remain unwilling to employ ex-offenders, because they believe that 'leopards can never change its locations'. It really is heartening to see the number of ex-offenders working have increased with the years but we can not guarantee they have been given identical rights as others. For instance, at least 30 employees at the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa was required to leave their job because all of them failed the Casino Regulatory Power (CRA)'s criminal background checks. Failure to disclose was taken up to examine the applicant's "integrity, honesty and identity" (Lim & Lim, 2010). There is absolutely no difference on whether if people that have criminal records declared or not, they still had their contracts terminated anyway. Does indeed the criminal background always the best and only predictors for future performance? Do we assess those have consistently erred and condemn that they do not deserve the opportunity to repent?
In addition, job people are required to declare that if indeed they have been convicted in a court docket in virtually any country before. Because this is usually a one-liner question, ex-offenders' applications can be filtered out without taking into consideration the seriousness of the offences or even the recidivism rate of the offender (Junior Reloaded, 2005). This may provide an chance of employers to display out ex-offenders and justify if there any inappropriate acts in the company in future (Coble-Krings, 2007). Being eager, these candidates may lay about their track record and will be reduced further for dishonesty.
Moving up to legislation, the Subscription to Criminals Work was amended in 2005, to permit the ex-offenders to make their data as spent, and therefore you don't have to go over the presence of the documents in most cases, if the offences committed are minor plus they were crime-free for five years (Attorney-General's Chambers, 2005). Which means that those with serious offences such as sentences imposed include imprisonment term greater than three months or a fine exceeding $200, 000, aren't allowed to do so, thus, the implementation of the insurance plan is unfair as it deprives people that have a serious offence a chance to get started on anew.
Comparing with United States, the treatments of ex-offenders in Singapore are, in my opinion, much better. In the United States, the ex-offenders weren't allowed to apply for employment licenses or work in organisations working with the ones that needs more attention, such as elderly and children (Love, 2006).
The society takes on a substantial role in the reintegration of the ex-offenders. Ex-offenders, no matter what mistakes they made, are still part of us and are belongings to the society. However, despite their determination to learn to from floor zero, we shun away and discriminate them. High unemployment is linked to upsurge in rate of recidivism (Finn, 1998). Therefore, when they are unable to secure a job, the path of recidivism seems easier and they'll revert back again to their old ways to make it through. This remains high-risk but the recidivism rate in Singapore has continued to be at 25 percent25 % since 2006 (Singapore Prison Service, 2009).
No steady source of income means ex-offenders and their families may not have the ability to afford basic needs for success and cannot move away from their social category. Those young families that grew needy may vacation resort to crimes to get what they required. Thus, it is difficult for ex-offenders to have a better life when they aren't given the same opportunities. The vicious cycle continues as their future years may follow the footsteps of the more aged generations.
To reduce and even eliminate the stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination against these ex-offenders, it's important that people find out the root causes of this matter and apply various programs and activities to encourage energetic contribution as increased conversation may increase the perspective of the public towards ex-offenders.
To get started with, organizations should set up more activities to provide both the consumer and ex-offenders an possibility to work together. Such activities may be stop by at the prisons and / or halfway houses, outdoor and indoor activities, community service projects or even, encourage ex-offenders to take part in existing occasions such as Yellow Ribbon Prison Run. Through connection, we develop bonds and trust and these may change the perspective of the general public towards them and for that reason reduce the scope of discrimination.
Many ex-offenders have low self-esteem and fear so much rejection. Therefore, we should involve the ex-offenders in the look and performing of events in the community. These events offer an chance of the ex girlfriend or boyfriend- inmates to showcase their talents in a variety of areas. Also, besides the technical skills attained from the support programmes, the programmes also needs to focus on delicate skills such as social skills. These ex-convicts should also find out more about cv writing and interview skills, as these will help them to advertise themselves well.
As mentioned above, employers often do not need to provide ex-offenders another chance. Non-acceptance has wiped out the only anticipation that these ex-offenders have to reintegrate into the society. Currently, we have promotions such as "HELP Unlock THE NEXT Prison" (Yellow Ribbon Job), which focuses on the role that world plays. However, I feel that the promotions should also focus on the power and skills that these ex-offenders have to add. We have job training seminars from Rating and ISCOS, but to enhance the public confidence in them, we can consider cooperating with companies to provide these ex-offenders transitional jobs as probationers (Fahey, Roberts & Engel, 2006) to start out them off for quite some time so that they have relevant working experience, rather than only skills acquiring in the rehabilitative programmes. After the transition period, these organizations can also help recommend the employees to other companies.
We should further improve on the interview question so that it allows the ex-offender to declare that they have convicted for which offences as well as the year of conviction. Company can now decide if these offences are damaging to the hobbies of the stakeholders. The company are affected the heaviest losses if the ex-offenders cause any troubles. Also, the job applicants gain from this as the employers are practising selective testing rather than a total elimination. There are also phone calls to ban the declaration package so that past criminal record won't affect work. (Henry & Jacobs, 2007). However, I feel that the employers are to protect their interests and the ex-offenders should be honest and persuade the employers on the efforts to stay out of crime.
I acknowledge that the amendment to the Subscription of Criminals Work is an excellent proceed to redress discrimination. However, Personally i think that should be produced applicable to all ex-offenders, retaining the five years crime-free period, but instead of disqualifying serious offenders, their time-frame could be expanded up to a decade.
If the solutions suggested above are being applied on a long-term basis, the way of thinking of the public may change and be more agreeing to towards ex-offenders and the Singapore will move towards as a progressive society as a whole.