‘Give an ex-con a chance’ plea to businesses in Herts to help keep former prisoners on the straight and narrow

Ex-prisoners need support from county businesses to help them stay on the straight and narrow

Ex-prisoners need support from county businesses to help them stay on the straight and narrow - Credit: Archant

Businesses across the county need to do their bit to help ex-offenders stay on the straight and narrow when they leave jail.

That’s the message from the annual meeting of an organisation which tries to get former prisoners and others settled into the community and staying away from crime.

The Hertfordshire Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders session as police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City featured a panel discussion involving care workers and employers, chaired by a crown court judge.

More than 70 delegates from the criminal justice community included police and crime commissioner David Lloyd, senior magistrates and judges, as well as civic leaders from across the county.

HACRO chair Yasmin Batliwala said: “We need to increase the numbers of employers in Hertfordshire willing to take on ex-offenders.

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“There is a lot of misinformation and stereotyping which means that employers are often unwilling to consider giving ex-offenders jobs, even though it makes commercial sense to do so.

“This evening makes it clear why employers in both the public and private sectors need to think twice before dismissing this option – it really makes business sense.”

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The county’s chief constable Andy Bliss added: “Dealing with offenders is a core role for police so we see HACRO as a valuable ally in the work we do.

“The conference covered a really important topic.

“We know that the key drivers that lead to offenders abandoning a life of crime include stable relationships, housing and a job, and the panel contributed to an important debate about the opportunities for offenders to become positive contributors to society.”

You can find out more about HACRO’s work online at www.hacro.org.uk.

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