Its positive response to the report on supporting ex-offenders recognises Business in the Community’s Ban the Box campaign and the crucial role for employers in shaping activity in prisons and providing opportunities on release. Nicola Inge, Campaign Manager at Business in the Community said:
"The Government’s commitment to Ban the Box and promoting employment for ex-offenders is encouraging and we look forward to seeing this develop into concrete action that genuinely improves prospects for prisoners. When you have a criminal record it can feel like society has turned its back on you. We hope that plans for financial incentives will motivate forward-thinking companies like Interserve, for example, to Ban the Box as the first step to reducing reoffending."
Ban the Box asks employers to remove the tick box from application forms and ask about criminal convictions later in the recruitment process to give ex-offenders a fair chance to compete for jobs. Many companies that have banned the box have gone further, offering employment to serving prisoners through Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL), starting up training academies in prisons, running employability workshops or providing volunteers to work with prisoners.
The Government’s response to the report gives prison governors the key role of engaging with employers to provide opportunities like these. The full response is available on Parliament’s website.