Public attitudes towards the employment of ex-offenders with a disability

Darakai, Adrian, Day, Andrew, and Graffam, Joe (2017) Public attitudes towards the employment of ex-offenders with a disability. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 8 (1). pp. 3-12.

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Purpose: Ex-prisoners often face significant challenges in their efforts to find meaningful and stable work, undermining their chances of successful reintegration back into the community. These problems are likely to be compounded for those who have an intellectual disability (ID), given evidence that the disabled generally experience high levels of discrimination when applying for and maintaining jobs. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether members of the public hold different attitudes and expectations towards the employment of ex-offenders who have an ID and a history of criminal offending.

Design/methodology/approach: Samples of 642 participants, recruited via social media, were presented with vignettes, and then completed a short survey designed to measure their attitudes and expectations towards the employment of ex-offenders.

Findings: Whilst the presence of a mild ID did not significantly affect community attitudes towards ex-offender employment, it did change expectations about employment outcomes.

Research limitations/implications: It appears that ex-offenders are perceived as a homogenous group of people, despite actual and substantial differences existing within this population.

Practical implications: There is a need to actively educate the community about differences between subgroups of ex-offenders in relation to the employment needs of those with an ID.

Social implications: The social inclusion of ex-offenders with an ID lies at the heart of any effective and progressive criminal justice policy.

Item ID: 47732
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: community attitudes; ex-offender employment; intellectual disability; public attitudes; reintegration; type of offence
ISSN: 2050-8824
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 03:01
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170104 Forensic Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940402 Crime Prevention @ 100%
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