Laura Piacentini, Beth Weaver and Cara Jardine, SCCJR School of Social Work & Social Policy, University of Strathclyde
This research briefing paper provides an analysis of the limited research into employment and employability in prisons research. It was produced by Piacentini, Weaver and Jardine to inform discussions at an event held at the University of Strathclyde on 19th February, 2018.
The event brought experts in penal policy, employment law and business together to consider the kinds of legislative and policy reform that can better enable or encourage the intended or hoped for outcomes underpinning work in prisons in Scotland. Our plenary speakers were Teresa Medhurst, Director of Strategy, The Scottish Prison Service; Professor Douglas Brodie, Associate Principal and Executive Dean, University of Strathclyde and Professor of Employment Law; and Matt Fountain, CEO of Freedom Bakery.
We were joined by practitioners and experts working to improve people’s experiences of and opportunities for employment both during custody and upon release. In contributing to this conversation, this paper asks four key questions: Why does employment and employability in matter? Where have we got to so far? What could we do differently? and, How do we get there? or, as part of that – What questions should we be asking.