Finding work after Prison: What prisoners think about the tick box

Based on a survey of 123 prisoners, this report highlights the impact of asking about criminal convictions on a job application form, and makes recommendations for businesses and other organisations.


Key findings

  • 9 in 10 prisoners surveyed want to find work after leaving prison
  • Only a third of prisoners said they would apply to a job with a tick box
  • Nearly half of prisoners suggested they would not declare their convictions when asked on an application form, many for fear of automatic rejection


Ban the Box calls on employers to create fair opportunities for ex-offenders to compete for jobs by removing the tick box from application forms and asking about criminal convictions at a later stage in the recruitment process. Anecdotal feedback suggests that the presence of the criminal record tick box on job application forms can often prevent candidates with convictions from applying.

In order to investigate this, Business in the Community conducted a survey of prisoners at HMP Nottingham. Through this research, we have found that the tick box confuses and concerns prisoners and is, at worst, detrimental to both candidates and employers.