About the Network

Release Scotland was started by employers who want to make a difference. Employment can help people with convictions turn their lives around.

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Release Scotland was started by employers who want to make a difference. We know that employment can help people with convictions turn their lives around. And we know this is a group of people with a huge amount to offer, who can help our organisations grow and succeed.

This is a network of Scotland’s employers, of all shapes and sizes. Release Scotland includes members of the private, public and third sectors. We want everyone from small businesses to major corporations and public sector employers to think about the benefits that people with convictions can deliver for them.

The idea for Release Scotland started in the Working 2 Change conference organised by the Scottish Government in 2015. This heard from academics, policy makers, business leaders, charities and people with convictions about the difference employment can make. And it started us thinking about what more we could do to overcome the barriers that people with convictions face when trying to find work.

We know from experience that recruiting people with a criminal conviction poses all sorts of questions. Understanding the risks involved, where you can get help, what the law says - and even where to start. It can all feel a bit daunting.

So we’ve put together this resource to help start answering these questions, sharing experiences and pooling resources. Below you can read about some of the partners who have already joined us, what they’ve learned and how their organisations have benefited from recruiting people with conviction. We hope it’s interesting. And we hope you want to get involved too.

"Employment was an important step for me. I felt amazing - like I was on top of the world"

Sherie, Greggs

Useful links

How to Employ

Testimonial

James Timpson

Timpson

Chief Executive

"At Timpson we believe we just need great people to serve our customers. That's why we recruit so many people from prison...we find so many great people there.  Recruiting well means taking the best talent irrespective of their background."

Find out how to employ people with convictions