There is a recognition that encouraging companies to employ ex-offenders with sex-related convictions is a difficult task, with concerns about the risk, type and location of work often being expressed by employers and the public. Research indicates that unemployment is one of the biggest factors that can serve to increase the risk of re-offending for a particularly disadvantaged group. Developing risk managed employment opportunities are a particularly important part of any resettlement plan.
The Changing Directions initiative assesses the suitability of carefully selected prisoners forself-employment opportunities.
The overall aim is to improve their social and economic reintegration; thereby reducing the risks of re-offending and protecting the public. The project works in a strong multi-agency framework, with public safety and risk management being the highest priority. Working closely with the Police, the National Probation Service, Cheshire & Warrington Business Venture Ltd and key voluntary sector agencies, Changing Directions is trialling new, innovative assessment and community supervision models.
The Changing Directions programme involves the delivery of a prison-based enterprisetraining programme; the drawing up of individual business plans and the developmentof a small business support network designed to empower benefi iaries to sustain smallbusinesses.
Working with Manchester University, Changing Directions has produced research into the public attitudes to sex offenders, and the key barriers to employment that face this target group.
Reviewing current, and trialling new, assessment tools specifi cally designed for the target group
Trialling a dual risk management model which focuses on risks of re-offending and suitability for a choice of selfemployment including motivation, skills and needs gaps
Developing integrated, multi-agency risk and offender management plans for robust information sharing and monitoring
Developing Self Employment
Establishing prison-based enterprise training, including the drawing up of individual business plans and the development of a small business support network designed to empower benefi ciaries to sustain self-employment
Selecting and risk assessing suitable participants for a self employment programme, using assessment and enhanced risk management processes
Working with Cheshire & Warrington Business Venture Ltd partners to progress into business start-up post-release
The self employment methodology may work equally well with other groups of ex-offenders. Changing Directions aims to transfer knowledge and models of working to other areas of the Criminal Justice System
Changing Directions works with sex offenders or those who pose a risk to children