When someone is sentenced to a period of imprisonment that would appear to be the end of the matter. Only the offender themselves plus their family or friends have any further involvment apart of course from the statutory and voluntary support services. The assumption is that that is the end of the matter.
What is not obvious is the ongoing effects of the sentence. Once the sentence is served common sense would suggest that is the end of the matter, the sentence is served, the offender has been punished and all that remains is to get on with life.
Would that that were the case. The reality is that the end of the sentence is in fact the beginning of the rest of the offender’s future and that is fraught with problems.
The first, and most major problem is work. The difficulties encountered when seeking employment are countless but from experience I can state quite categorically, from personal experience, that one of the main prblems is in the mind of the ex offender themseves. No matter how we try to overcome it there is a very negative feeling of paranoia that no one will be interested in offering employment because of the conviction.
Certainly that is the4 case with a large number of employers, I have no statistics as to what percentage of employers adopt that stance but I would guess they are certainly in the majority. And there is no simple answer. AS general advice I would say to any ex offender applying for employment always do so on the basis that you are likely to be turned dwn because of your conviction. It won’t help in a practical sense but it will make the rejection when it comes far less traumatic.
We are often advised to put our past behind us and make a fresh start, far easier said than done. Whilst we can try our best to do so there are always going to be those who won’t let us forget.
So the reality is that whatever the nominal sentence given by the court the reality is that every single sentence is a life sentence and we have to learn to live with that fact.

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