Red Cross calls on employers to hire and support people caught up in justice system

Australian Red Cross

Australian Red Cross is calling on employers to take part in a national survey to better understand the barriers to recruiting and retaining people with lived experience of the justice system.

The survey findings will help Red Cross understand current recruitment issues and will inform the development of a resource toolkit that employers can use to better support staff who have had contact with the justice system.

“In Australia over 70,000 people are released from prison each year with many finding themselves incarcerated again within two years of being released due to a range of circumstances and limited support.

“Employment is a key protective factor to support people in the community post release and prevent future offending. However, people in contact with the justice system face significant barriers in gaining employment,” says Clariana Rodriques, National Coordinator – Strategic Projects at Australian Red Cross.

Red Cross is collaborating with businesses and organisations from across Australia, including Vicinity Centres, STREAT, Fruit2Work, Whispir, WorkRestart and Job Watch, to develop the toolkit. The initiative is part of its National Employment Project.

“There is a labour shortage in Australia. We know businesses are looking for employees, and we know that they are open to hiring people with experience of the justice system but there are still barriers in the way of them doing so. So, we want to work with employers to remove those barriers by giving them the resources to recruit and keep these people,” says Ms Rodrigues.

A recent report from the Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey found that 78% of employers reported having a positive outcome of employing people with experience with the justice system.

“It’s heartening to see such an overwhelmingly positive response from employers, and we know this number can be even higher, so we hope our resource project will help with this,” says Ms Rodrigues.

To take part in the short survey please head to by 22 December 2021.

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