Lincolnshire Action Trust has a team of experienced staff who offer everything from the initial employment assessment to follow-on support and referrals to address the needs of individuals with criminal convictions as they prepare for the world of work, both during their time in prison and once they have been released.
As well as supporting access to learning courses, from skills for life with local voluntary organisations through to the Open University, the employability team also supports prisoners to make the most of the learning and training opportunities available to them while in prison.
The team offers free support in a number of areas to aid improved employability and confidence. These include:
- Preparing a CV and how to use key information in a covering letter
- Practising face-to-face and telephone interview techniques
- Guidance on job search tools and relevant agencies
- Advice on if and how to disclose a criminal conviction to a potential employer
- Information and support to address learning and training courses
- Advocacy with employers and placement providers
- Ongoing in-work support
Linking these opportunities to future career aims can be highly motivational, and by supporting individuals to access relevant skills and training, they are able to improve their employability, which in turn can reduce the risk of re-offending.
The 'CFO3' project is part funded by the European Social Fund and is designed to help individuals involved in the criminal justice system to move towards social inclusion and mainstream provision. Support is appropriate to individual circumstances and assessed needs. Eligible participants must be:
- Aged 18 years old or over
- Sentenced prisoners with up to three years to serve or on remand (women only) or,
- Individuals completing a post-custodial license/supervision period or serving a community order
The project is suitable for those requiring intensive support and/or facing multiple barriers in following areas:
- Attitude & life skills
- Education & training
- Finance & debt
- Health & wellbeing
- Substance misuse
Tailored to individual need, each participant’s journey will encompass a combination of the activities detailed below:
- Disclosure of convictions
- Employability skills & industry specific training
- Money management
- Obtaining I.D
- Personal development
- Referral to mainstream activity
Lincolnshire Action Trust is pleased to offer this provision at HMP Lincoln, HMP Stocken and HMP Whatton, as well as in the community across Lincolnshire.
In addition to the support individuals receive to help them gain meaningful employment, one of the most important services offered is support with disclosure of their criminal record.
Disclosure is the main barrier that most individuals face when applying for work. We recognise how vital it is that individuals are fully aware of their legal obligations and we therefore advise and coach individuals to be able to identify the most effective method of disclosing their criminal record.
Advice on how the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) apply to an individual’s conviction(s) along with a breakdown the requirements of the Police Act 1997 are discussed at length to aid understanding. In addition, the different types of disclosure, what is classed as 'spent' and 'unspent' and how and what to disclose in situations such as job interviews and college application forms is addressed.