Criminology, probation and stuff

Some musings on criminology with a focus on probation

Posts Tagged ‘rehabilitation

Criminals applying for jobs in schools- yeah, and?

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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 ,