As an ex-offender, Liam was at a disadvantage in the jobs market. However, his life started to turn around when he found a volunteering role with on-the-job training at his local St Vincent's centre.
Many ex-offenders have faced a lifetime of social and economic exclusion. Many have suffered physical and mental abuse, so leaving prison and trying to survive in the outside world can be frightening and overwhelming.
Liam was released after serving a lengthy prison sentence. He had struggled with alcohol addiction and his self-confidence was low. As an ex-offender, Liam was also at a huge disadvantage in the jobs market. With little money, low prospects of finding work and time on his hands, Liam was extremely vulnerable and could easily have been drawn back into his former life of criminality. However, his life started to turn around when he came into contact with the SVP.
Liam was offered a volunteering role in a St Vincent’s community centre, which provided him with on-the-job training. His confidence grew as he acquired new skills, and his busy volunteering role ensured he maintained his sobriety. The positive feedback he received while working in his voluntary placement also gave his self-esteem a real boost. Liam is now more employable, and he is looking to further his education and forge a new career. He remains highly motivated to continue to succeed.
Compared to the general population, offenders are 13 times as likely to have been in care as a child, 13 times as likely to be unemployed, 10 times as likely to have been a truant from education, two-and-a-half times as likely to have had a family member convicted of a criminal offence, six times as likely to have been a young father, and 15 times as likely to be HIV positive. These social and economic hurdles are often compounded by a lack of work experience and discrimination from potential employers.
Liam’s case demonstrates that with an individual approach, support and education, positive change is possible.