After the end of a prison sentence, people often have to fight off prejudices prevailing in the society and among employers while, in fact, their support is what matters most to prevent the ex-prisoners from repeated offences and conviction.
To understand the reasons that make it difficult for the ex-prisoners to return to the society, we and the foundation Baltic Institute of Social Sciences fulfilled the order of the Prisons Administration and carried out an in-depth research to analyse the opinions of the society, employers, and service providers on former and current prisoners and to evaluate the impressions of former and current prisoners. Based on the results, we drafted a communication strategy offering proposals for reducing stereotypes about ex-prisoners.
In the research it was concluded that 80 % of the surveyed people believe that a person who has committed a crime once can reform if provided assistance to integrate into society. In addition, 10 % of surveyed employers have employed or currently employ ex-prisoners, and another 14 % are considering employing a formerly convicted person. Still, every fourth ex-prisoner admits having faced discrimination when searching for a job or starting working. Although employers are reserved towards employing former convicts, 78 % of people think that companies that give job to these people contribute to public safety and the fact that services and goods are in fact provided by ex-convicts would not affect their opinion of such goods and services.