The Citizens Trust's work had uncovered a critical need for the increase in employability of ex-offenders, so helping to reduce re-offending rates and create a safer, more socially inclusive community.
This led to the creation of the Second Chance initiative, spearheaded by the Trust in 2006. Second Chance aims to address the barriers faced by ex-offenders ready and willing to work, but often discriminated against because of their past records.
The project offers specifically designed training programmes and links suitable ex-offenders with appropriate employers. In this way, it offers a real chance of a future for ex-offenders genuinely wanting to rebuild their lives.
The Second Chance Charter sets minimum requirements for serving prisoners and ex-offenders who want to take advantage of the support on offer. This way, project participants can be assured of real employment opportunities and a worthwhile future, while employers can be assured of fully prepared and trustworthy employees.
Second Chance operates in a way similar to the Government's Two Ticks symbol, which identifies employers prepared to offer work to suitable disabled candidates. Second Chance fulfils the same purpose for ex-offenders who otherwise meet an employer's criteria.
Second Chance employers receive full support from The Citizens Trust, as well as the backing of HM prisons, service providers, government departments/agencies and other experienced organisations. They also have the added knowledge that they are contributing to an inclusive society and helping to reduce crime rates.
"Ex-offenders genuinely wanting a second chance in life see employment as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but, in our experience, that pot of gold just isn't there. Society wouldn't have such a high re-offending rate if it were, and we wouldn't have the drug and alcohol problems associated with offending."
Theresa Moore MBE. The Citizens Trust CEO.