Jobs expo for ex-prisoners to take place today

The aim is to cut reoffending rates by reintegrating ex-inmates into society

A jobs expo for ex-prisoners is set to take place in Dublin today.

Mountjoy jail will host the event which aims to cut reoffending rates by reintegrating ex-inmates into society.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the number of people incarcerated across Ireland had dropped.

Organisers say many of those coming out of prison these days are keen to get into full-time employment.

Productively engaged 

Over 30 SME employers and other services will set up interview and information stands in Mountjoy prison. 

Employers will interview and assess more than 40 prisoners who have earned the opportunity for selection.

The chosen candidates are those that have spent their time productively engaged with in-prison services to acquire a valuable skill or trade making them more job ready than when they began their sentence.

A key objective of the Expo is to showcase the range of education and skills training provided by the Irish Prison Service and assure employers of the full support

It will be launched by the Minister of State for Justice, David Stanton this morning during a breakfast briefing hosted by campus Governor Brian Murphy.

IASIO

The Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders (IASIO) are a non-profit national criminal justice organisation who are tasked with providing alternatives to crime for people on probation and in prison.

In terms of the figures for IASIO placements from 2012 – 2016:

-5,342 people have been placed into education

-3,204 people have been placed into training

-4,829 people have been placed into employment

-Over 3,000 people have accessed resettlement supports

Speaking about their work, IASIO CEO Paddy Richardson said "IASIO knows from experience that providing employment opportunities for ex-offenders plays a crucial role in the reduction of recidivistic behaviour and thereby making communities safer.

"It is true they (offenders) have committed a crime and come to us with a question mark hanging over them as to what they might or might not do in the future."

He finished by saying "with the right attitude and support, change is possible and that question mark begins to fade as they are supported into something more rewarding."

Meanwhile, Acting Director of the Small Firms Association, Linda Barry said that "Employers should not impose blanket bans on employing ex-offenders, as by focusing on previous criminal conduct, society overlooks the talents, skills and motivation of individuals in whose development we all have a vested interest."