Call for Submissions: 40th Anniversary Conference 'Reimagining the Future'

Our 40th Anniversary conference in Edinburgh on Wednesday 22 May 2019, will ask “what should the next 40 years of criminal justice in Scotland look like?”. We want to explore new ideas and new directions for the future of criminal justice in Scotland - to stimulate new thinking about how we can work towards a better future.

The conference will be organised round twelve brief presentations. Each speaker will have ten minutes in which to present a new proposal for penal reform, a new idea about how we could improve our system of criminal justice, or a new direction for penal thought. We will also encourage questions about, and comments on, the proposals from other participants in the conference.

We now invite submissions for these presentation slots from a wide spectrum of participants, and would particularly welcome submissions from early career researchers, from practitioners, and from those with lived experience of the criminal justice system.

All we need is a half-page proposal and a brief biography by the end of February 2019. (Although links to previous presentations would also be very welcome.) We will confirm attendance with you by the end of March 2019, and where it is not possible to accommodate a presentation, we will endeavour to include your contribution in some other format during the conference. Please email: emma@howardleague.scot

Recruiting ex-offenders - James Timpson Lecture

James Timpson lecture

The Howard League Scotland was delighted to welcome James Timpson of his eponymous family business Timpsons, to speak about why he is such a passionate advocate of employing people with a criminal conviction. What followed was a riveting talk with one major point, hiring people is fundamentally about personality, not about the past. He has been willing to give people a chance, with the results that he has developed a strong ethos of work and comaraderie among the Timpson staff, and, moreover, created a thriving business. 

Here is a round-up of some of the facts and figures which highlights that is a beneficial programme for both employee and employer:

  • 10% of workforce recruited direct from prisons
  • Recruits from a third of the prison population 
  • 13 shops run by those released on temporary licence
  • Retention rate of 80% after 12 months for those recruited from prison (same as retention rate for employees recruited from general population)
  • Retention rate of 92% after 12 months for those on the Release On Temporary Licence (ROTL) scheme
  • Retention rate highest among female ex-prisoners


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