Beyond the prison walls: the role of a criminal record check in balancing risk management and reintegration through employment

Saliba, A 2012, Beyond the prison walls: the role of a criminal record check in balancing risk management and reintegration through employment, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size
Saliba.pdf Thesis Click to show the corresponding preview/stream application/pdf;... 5.28MB
Title Beyond the prison walls: the role of a criminal record check in balancing risk management and reintegration through employment
Author(s) Saliba, A
Year 2012
Abstract The role of rehabilitating ex-offenders has traditionally been understood as belonging firmly within the administration of corrections and as such governed by the state. This thesis is undertaken within the area of criminal justice studies and examines what happens beyond the realms of corrections, through the utilisation of the criminal record, specifically in relation to employment. It brings into focus the reintegration of ex-offenders into the community and the impact of their criminal record on their reception by non-government institutions, employers and the community. To this end, this thesis uses theories of governmentality and the discourse of failure as outlined by Michel Foucault. These theories are applied to the analyses of the governing of ex-offenders by non-government organisations, institutions and employers within society. Furthermore, a Foucauldian genealogical approach is taken in relation to the disjointed and, at some stages, simultaneous development of facets of the criminal record within Victoria.

Quantitative and qualitative Victorian data are considered in relation to the construction and development of the criminal record. This approach is utilised to gain a purchase on the particular ways in which the criminal record is constructed and used by prospective employers as a form of risk assessment for the possible future behaviour of ex-offenders.

This form of risk assessment used by prospective employers will be considered against the forms of risk assessments performed by Corrections in relation to reoffending. Specifically, an in-depth analysis will be undertaken of the Victorian Intervention Screening Assessment Tool (VISAT), to illustrate how risk assessment tools have a tendency to reduce an immense level of information into simplistic and predetermined formats. Furthermore, the growing practice of criminal record checks will be analysed for its impact on the employment options of ex-offenders. This will be presented through a critical analysis of various forms of data, including employment advertisements, employment statistics of offenders and future industry indications.

Through this multi-dimensional analysis of texts relating to criminal records and Corrections data, this thesis examines the role played by non-government institutions as distinct from the role of Government itself in thwarting stated aims of rehabilitation. Finally, recommendations will be made which are aimed at improving this problematic condition.

The research findings support the conclusions that the criminal record is a complex, multifaceted inscription and as such, its reduction to a simplistic predetermined form – the National Police Certificate – makes it an inappropriate risk assessment tool for prospective employers. Furthermore, this research has found that the way the criminal record is used significantly impacts on the reintegration of ex-offenders. It is argued that the inability of ex-offenders to become gainfully employed and regain full active citizenship, subsequent to participation in rehabilitation programs and correctional intervention contributes to the high rate of recidivism. It is therefore concluded that society has a critical role to play in the successful reintegration of ex-offenders and the lowering of recidivism rates.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Studies
Keyword(s) Criminal Record
National Police Certificate
Risk Management
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 398 Abstract Views, 2212 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Mon, 10 Dec 2012, 13:56:23 EST by Brett Fenton
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us