Decent Work in Scotland: Thematic Report 3: Exploring ‘Decent Work’ with People with Criminal Convictions

Johanne Miller, Lisa Borchardt, Chik Collins (Editor), Francis Stuart (Editor), Hartwig Pautz (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


This study investigates how people with criminal convictions think about ‘decent work’ and whether ‘decent work’ could support them desisting from crime. It found:
• Participants in this study experienced extreme levels of marginality, poverty, exclusion and stigma. Their work histories are characterised by low paid and insecure employment.
• The main barrier to employment was disclosure of criminal convictions. In particular, the ‘criminal conviction tick box’ at the stage of application limits chances for employment.
• Being in employment was viewed as providing a means out of the isolation and poverty experienced whilst unemployed. The possibility of finding ‘decent work’ was so far removed to people with convictions that any job would be accepted.
• Purposeful and stable employment, but also volunteering opportunities, are crucial elements of social integration and support desistance from crime.
• Four main factors were identified as comprising decent work:
• Being treated with respect
• Decent pay to provide ‘enough money to get by’
• A fixed term contract for a minimum period of a year which set the terms and conditions for employment
• Opportunity for training
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
VolumeThematic Report 3
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Publication series

NameUWS-Oxfam Partnership, Collaborative Research Reports Series
PublisherUWS-Oxfam partnership


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