If you’ve been convicted of a sexual offence, your opportunities for self-employment are reduced but still possible.
Many of our Escape Plans are about working in someone’s home. If you’ve been convicted of an offence against a minor, your licence conditions will probably prevent you from working in people’s homes. This means most of our trades (handyman etc) will not be suitable for you. At the Escape Route we’re hoping to develop some Escape Plans suitable for sex offenders.
Not every home has a child, but because you can’t forecast which homes have young people, the probation officer would probably decide not to let you work in private homes.
If you’ve been convicted of a sexual offence against an adult, your licence conditions might allow you to work in someone’s home. But it will depend on the nature of your crime, and the risk. In other words if you have a history of attacking an adult in their home, you would be barred.
You would be more likely to be allowed to practice a trade on a building site. So if you wanted to work as a carpenter on a building site, you have a higher chance of this being accepted. If you have been convicted of an offence against a child the site could not be near a school or playing field.
If you have committed internet offences you would probably not be allowed access to the internet, so you couldn’t seek work this way.
You have a higher chance of being allowed to work in an office, but this too will depend on your offence.
The good news
Your response to management will be taken into account with any risk assessment. So if you identify with your victim, and are willing to work with your offender manager, this will be taken into account and over the course of your licence period your conditions might be relaxed as your risk in the community decreases.
Here are some more routes into work:
Craft work could present an opportunity for you. Many prisons have workshops where you can learn carpentry
People like hand-crafted goods for the home. ‘Shabby chic’ is a popular expression meaning something that looks a bit rough but stylish.
Upcycling is another popular phrase. It means upgrading low value or discarded items. You can make items out of old pallets, pipes, fabric or leather.
You could re-upholster some old chairs. You could get a battered chest of drawers from a junk shop and paint it. Or you could reclaim items from a skip.
Try to get hold of a book on Upcycling or Junk. They are full of imaginative ideas for creating products from old metal, wire, paper, card, fabric and bottles.
You then need to sell your products. Try offering them to local shops. Get a stall on a craft fair or market stall, or find someone to run the stall for you.