The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue May 2012

Give us a chance

From Michael Allen - HMP Forest Bank

One in three people on the dole have a criminal record, but that should be plain logic given that previous convictions are a barrier to employment. Once someone has served a prison sentence their employment prospects are very limited. But this doesn’t make the dole claimant a scrounger, it just makes them unemployable and until the government comes up with a better system of rehabilitation this is a problem that will not go away. I really tried my best to get a job last time I was released. I handed my CV to almost 100 employers, applied for jobs on the web, shop windows, jobcentre, and put my name down with 5 agencies in my local area – but nothing. I lost the will to go on and drove like an idiot and now I find myself back in jail. Now I’m scared and worried that it will be the same when I am released again in August. Something really needs to be done to help ex offenders get back into employment. I’m 22 years old and I really do want to change and not spend the rest of my years in prison. I suspect that most employers think ‘once a criminal, always a criminal’ but this is definitely not the case. Given the chance I believe many ex offenders want to change, myself included, so please give us a chance.

Back to top

Comments about this letter

2/5/2012 Shippy -

I was released from prison on Licence in November 2010, i have applied for countless jobs, even had help from Pertemps, to get my Forklift licence, CSCS card and Health and Safety Passport, all to boost my prospects of gaining unemployment, and here i am 17 months later, STILL looking. i have had over 20 interviews, which all went well, until my criminal record got brought up, then although the potential employer was all nice, my application received the *unsuccessful" stamp of disapproval, but in order to get your benefits, you still have to keep looking for employment. I know several ex prisoners that have been given that chance by an employer and they are at the top of their game, all you can do is keep trying.

18/5/2012 amanda jane

Its sad to read your posts..but dont give son was released 3 and a half weeks ago and was looking daily for jobs and applying for so many..he also experienced intreviews that went well until the dreaded question about criminal we changed our approach and actually wrote on his cv about his criminal record and how he made a mistake and wants a change and turn his life around etc...the next application he filled in he put in his cv least if they wernt interested they wouldnt call him for a interview...he got a call for interview and actually got the full time maybe honesty from the start is what employers may be worth a try for you guys ...good luck i think all young offenders deserve a chance .dont give up..

20/5/2012 Hammy ,,,,,,,,,,,Leeds

Im just reading the comments wrote by Amanda Jane
I to have recentley been released on hdc (tag)
I have had about four interviews in the last three months.The first two i got the job,but because of the times i had to start i had to ask for a letter so as to get my curfew hours changed.
When i was asked why i needed a letter i told them that i committed a crime 20 years ago and i have just been caught for it (robbery) and i have not been in trouble since.
Well what do you think happened.........they took the jobs back off me.
The next interview i was straight up front and more than qualified to do the tasks in hand..What happened i didnt get the job.
So is honestey about your convictions allways the best policy..I myself think not,i would say to all job hunters just play it by the way you think its going at the interview.I am off hdc in a few weeks so hopefuly i will gain employment then.

Post a comment

Summary of letters in the Mailbag for May 2012
Drug dealers as bad as child abusers
Drowning in debt
Sports Relief needed
34 years in solitary
SCCRC and the Cadder ruling
SOTP making people worse
All this will not end well
Silly Rules
No parole on anti-depressantsí
What happened to common sense
IPPs not the only ones over tariff
3 years over Tariff and stuck in limbo
Prisoners fighting back
Thanks to the library staff at HMP Manchester
Worried about leaving prison
Current page: Give us a chance
The Plot Thickens
Writing to Leveson
Why no handkerchiefs
Give us toilet roll and scrap psychology
Robbed blind by canteen prices
Cockroach city
Enhanced not worth a light
DHLs dirty tricks
Not human, just a statistic
Get a grip
You do not understand
Very cross


Inside Time Latest Issue

Issue : December 2014

Headlines | Mailbag | Poems
Book List | PSI Updates


Back Issues

Back Issues

View backissues and extras

Browse and Search Tools

View headlines by category
Search headlines | All headlines
Search mailbag | All mailbag
Search poems | All poems

December 2014 Headlines
> Treat Prisoners as Human Beings, Not Criminals
> What are prisons for
> A search for any trace of the governmentís Rehabilitation Revolution
> Tell us why you did it?... You must be joking I didnít do it
> Care Act - what does it mean for prisoners
> Doctor Frankenstein and his monster
> Human Rights: truth and lies
> Scapegoating the undeserving poor
> Interview
> The first Miscarriage of Justice
> Month by Month - December 2014
> The 2014 Longford Trust Awards
> Is it all in the mind
> Time
> Learning in prison
> Take your first Steps to Success in 2015
> Spotlight Police and Crime Commissioners
> From over the wall
> Over-tariff IPPs: an appeal for your stories
> Paperwork is the key
> Adjudication - donít let those days count against you
> Insider Dealing
> Christmas Stories
> Christmas Messages
> Christmas Messages

About Us

About insidetime
Editorial Team

InsidePoetry Book

insidepoetry book New! Volume 5 of
insidepoetry book
is now available!

A collection of poems by prisoners of all backgrounds.

Availabe to buy from this site! Volume 1,2,3 and 4 are also still available and you can SAVE by purchasing bundles!

USP Service

USP from Inside Time

The Useful Services for Prisoners scheme from insidetime provides discounts, vouchers and other benefits from USP Group Members for Prisoners, their families and legal advisors. Click the image above to read more about it.


You can subscribe to insidetime Newspaper and get the paper each month delivered to your door!


Advertise your business or solicitors office to a highly defined target audience.

Other Publications

Inside Time has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.


Contact Us

All contact info for the Operations office and the Editorial Team.

Site Map

Our site map page contains links to all pages on the insidetime site.

External Links

We have a number of external websites which you may be interested on our Links Page.

Social Networking


Inside Information


Everything you need to know about visiting people in prison; procedures, opening times, directions etc.

Comprehensive information about each prison regime; lock down times, facilities, healthcare etc.

*NEW* Detailed information about IRC - Immigration Removal Centres.

insideinformation Book

insideinformation book
The insideinformation book

A comprehensive guide to prisons and prison related services, designed and compiled by former prisoners.


Help and Support

Various pages of information for help and support organisations and networks for those in custody as well as recently released. Also information for friends and family.

Grants and Funding

This grants and funding pdf document aims to meet the need of prisoners and ex-offenders for accurate, up to date information on the supplementary funding available to prisoners.

Rules and Regulations

Information on rules & regulations used throughout the prison service.

Glossary of Terms

The Glossary of Prison Related Terms explains what all the acronyms and terms stand for with prison related matters. Includes links to external sites to further explain things.

Fact Sheets

We have produced many Prison Related Fact Sheets inc. Legal Fact Sheets, Parole Fact Sheets and Other related information.


Find a Solicitor

You can search our solicitor database for listings of solicitors in your area that provide the services you require.

Find a Barrister

You can search our barrister database for listings of barristers in your area that provide the services you require.

Address Finder

You can search our address database in many ways to retrieve contact information for all those elusive addresses you need in a hurry.

Prison Law pdf

This document provides details of leading training providers who offer sound professional training.

Other Publications

Inside Information has produced a number of books and publications you can purchase online.

Site Map

Our site map page contains links to all pages on the insideinformation site.

Contact Us

Use the Contact Us Feedback form to send us suggestions, plus our address and phone numbers.



Inside Justice

insidejustice was launched in July 2010 to investigate alleged miscarriages of justice.

Full introduction is on the insidejustice homepage

insidejustice Cases

insidejustice Articles & Reviews

insidejustice Advisory Panel Members

insidejustice Sponsors page

insidejusticecontact details