Criminology, probation and stuff

Some musings on criminology with a focus on probation

Criminals applying for jobs in schools- yeah, and?

with one comment

I can hardly bear to bring myself to write about this article: Criminals applying for jobs in schools: Paedophiles among 7,000 trying to work with children | Mail Online but I will.

Firstly because, as the article says, it does say something about the CRB system working- at least these people were identified as having criminal records, allowing schools to not employ someone who may present a risk to children.

Secondly, because I want to ask: what happened to the rehabilitation of offenders act 1974 which was meant to give people ‘a second chance’?

Thirdly, because I want to point out that most incidences of child abuse go undetected or unconvicted and so a criminal conviction is not the best way to judge future harm.

Fourthly, I want to highlight the fact that of all the people who had a criminal record, there were only 108 serious crimes which, in my mind, would probably automatically disallow someone from working children such as assault on minors and other sexual offences. This only represents 1.6% of all those found to have a record. It’s not a huge number. I have omitted the 150 drug convictions as, in my mind, possessing cannabis, which is probably what most of them involve does not pose a threat to children especially if one is aware, as most of these people are, of professional boundaries.

Fifthly, I want to reiterate the statement made in the article that there are certain offences which would automatically ban a person from working with children- so, what’s the problem- these people are being ‘filtered out’ at the appropriate time.

There are likely to be people who have had criminal records disclosed who were seriously trying to get round the system in order to cause harm but, really, how many? That’s what we really need to know. We also need to know how many people pose a risk to children, or are actually harming children, but who are doing so undetected. These figures don’t do anything except fuel punitive sentiment amongst the daily mail reading members of the public. At best, they tell us that the CRB system works and also that people are trying to make amends and start afresh by trying to get a job in a very difficult and rewarding profession despite any previous problems. At worst, they encourage schools to employ fewer people with convictions in order to avoid any potential scandal thereby declining these people the chance to fully reform and, in the process, completely undermining the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.


Written by criminologyandstuff

February 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Posted in Justice, media, Politics

Tagged with ,

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. It’s worse than that. I know a qualified social worker who lost his career via being put on the POCA/POVA list on the basis of a accusation that was so bad that the prosecution(!!!) told him not to even bother appearing in court, that they were going to ask for a not guilty. They did. After all, the “witness” had told the police six different stories. But his employer still put him on the list, and the appeal tribunal upheld it saying they had to “err on the side of extreme caution”.


    February 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: