Posted on January 22, 2018
In 2017 Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) was awarded a grant of almost €10,000 to activate the “Moving on, Step by Step” campaign. The purpose of this campaign was to promote awareness of the April 2016, Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act in order to promote the recruitment potential of people with previous convictions and to combat the stigma against hiring people who have committed crimes in the past. The campaign also aimed to raise awareness on the limitations of the legislation and in generating support for social change for people with previous convictions.
The campaign was successful and through the use of social media and videos reached over 75,000 people who watched over 13,500 minutes of content, all examining the issue of returning people with spent convictions back to the workplace.
By using social media and videos, along with information sheets IPRT translated complicated legislation into accessible and succinct information, filling the information gap for the general public and relevant agencies.
The more people and organisations that are aware of this new legislation the more people who will be empowered to get their lives and the lives of their families back on track and pursue employment and educational opportunities, without the constant stigma and prejudice of previous convictions hanging over their heads.
Along with the successes of the campaign this project also highlights the power of collaboration within the charity sector. IPRT engaged with a number of organisations to form the Insurance Working Group on access to insurance for people with convictions. The overall aim of the group is to secure fair access to insurance cover for people with convictions. This involved collaboration between IPRT, The Probation Service, IASIO (Irish Association for the Social Integration of Offenders), Pathways, Bridge Project and key stakeholders including employers and Insurance brokers.
Penal reform is an issue that often goes unrecognised and underfunded in Irish society and is a perfect example of how philanthropy can step up and meet the downfall. The Community Foundation for Ireland works with and fosters courageous donors who engage in strategic giving, ensuring human rights issues such as penal reform are tackled at a systemic level. By partnering with innovative organisations such as IPRT, who encourage a cross-stakeholder, collaborative environment, deep-rooted societal change can happen. When everyone is on the same page we can all move to the next chapter.
You can find more information on the “Moving on, Step by Step” campaign here. http://www.iprt.ie/spent-convictions