Do you believe in second chances?
They say you can only make a first impression once. If you meet someone for the first time and accidentally spill a drink over them, then it’s not a good look. That person probably won’t like you for a while. But, over time, when they get to know, they might come to like you and realise that person who spilt a drink over them was actually pretty okay. You get a second chance.
But not everyone does. There is a subsection of the British public who go overlooked and underappreciated, judged on their past actions and not their true selves. We’re talking about ex-offenders. We’re not here to say you need to replace your entire staff, but rather discuss the merits of giving someone who needs it a chance.
What does it mean to be a charity?
What is charity if not an opportunity to give unwanted items a second home? In an effort to support our worthwhile causes we collect others’ discarded things and sell them to a good home. It’s good for the environment and makes sure nothing is disposed of before its time.
If we give that level of care to inanimate objects, can we not do the same for other human beings? We wouldn’t think twice to do it for an animal. Yet do the same for a human and we become some sort of pariah.
Not all crimes are equal yet we treat them the same. We judge them on their conviction, not their actions, failing to see the context behind the situation. But it’s this attitude that leads to high levels of recidivism. Almost 30% of convicted adults go on to reoffend; in juveniles, it’s over 40%. This reoffending costs the UK £15 billion.
But if we gave them a chance, the likelihood of reoffending lowers dramatically. But only 17% of ex-offenders have a job within a year of release. They live in a world where they don’t feel wanted – they can’t even vote, no matter what they’re crime. Is it any wonder they turn to crime again after feeling so discarded? Is that not the antithesis of what charities are about? Shouldn’t we be the first to open our hearts?
Luckily, the general attitude towards ex-offenders is changing. More big high-street names are starting to employ ex-offenders. Greene King, Pret A Manger, Boots, and Barclay’s are just some to open their doors. And two-thirds of companies who take the leap say they have no regrets.
There is even a charity revolving around this very issue. The Clink gives prisoners an environment to practice their culinary skills before their release and offer them opportunities on the outside. You could even have them cater your events.
By employing ex-offenders you can fill your skills gap and reduce your recruitment costs. By giving a chance to someone who wants it, you also fill your ranks with loyal employees you can trust to turn up on time. You also give them the confidence boost they need and the means to become financially independent.
The world is cruel enough – this sector knows that better than anyone. We shouldn’t be putting that negative energy into the world. These ex-offenders are people’s brothers, partners, husbands, and sons. They are people who were a key part of society up until the point we told them we didn’t want them. By ignoring their pleas, we indirectly contribute to recidivism rates and maybe even homelessness.
If it was you or I, we would want someone to give us a second chance. Shouldn’t we do what’s right?
At Charity Fleetcare, we wholeheartedly believe in second chances. We could not be here if not for second chances. If we sound like the sort of company you would love to work with, we’d like to hear from you. Get in touch with us on 0800 014 9797.