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How do you get ex-prisoners back on the job market?

Despite various initiatives it appears that it is no simple task to get ex-prisoners back on the job market.

Anke Ramakers

A recent large-scale collaboration project between the government, the business sector and social organisations had little success. Of the 119 participants on the programme, only 38 found a job. Before it had been estimated that without the programme, this number would be around 24.

Multiple issues often underlie failure in these types of projects, according to Assistant Professor Anke Ramakers in a recent article in Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. The programmes often concern temporary jobs and it is difficult to change behaviour permanently. 'The more intensive a programme is, the better. We do know that. Success is now often measured by looking at recidivism, but a programme can also give a person hope or teach them something new.'

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