It should be easier for ex-offenders to get jobs, claims Nacro report

A report calling for the reform of laws that make it hard for people with criminal convictions to get a job has been released.

The Change the Record report  backs a campaign of the same name by crime-reduction charity Nacro. The drive is supported by former Conservative cabinet minister and ex-offender Jonathan Aitken and is focused on reforming the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

The government announced plans in June to “bring the criminal records regime back to sensible levels”.

One of the key areas it will focus on is vetting and barring rules and the extent of checks that should apply for those wanting to work with children and young people.

Nacro’s campaign report argues current legislation relating to ex-offenders is out of tune with the government’s rehabilitation revolution, initiatives to get people off benefits and back to work and its big society plans to create a more equal society.

Paul McDowell, chief executive of Nacro, said: “Around a quarter of the adult population has a criminal record.

“Outdated legislation and unlawful practices are preventing people from moving on with their lives and finding work. Research shows that getting reformed offenders into work can reduce reoffending by up to a half.

“Updating the legislation therefore benefits not only ex-offenders and employers, who gain valuable skills, but also the wider community.”