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This essay will explore the case study of Ryan, firstly, looking into how the lack of education can affect a person, when trying to begin a career. Secondly, searching how becoming involved with drugs, can lead to a person being drug dependant and looking how this can have an impact on a person's behaviour and emotion control, also searching into drug treatment programmes, offered when in prison. Thirdly, looking into how both of these
issues can lead to being homeless. Finally, concluding how each of these issues
can have a discriminating effect on a person with Ryan's background.
'Employment is believed to reduce offending by a third and a half, however more than half of offenders do not have a job' (Local Government Association (LGA), 2006). And this seems to be the issue with Ryan, as at an early age Ryan got involved with the wrong group of friends, and spent most of his time at his local arcade rather than being at school. Then at just 15 years old he left school early, leaving him with no qualifications and according to the Home Office report (2007), this seems to be a common thing, as they found that 89% of males left school aged 15 before examinations, and 52% of male adults have no qualifications.
From having no qualifications and a lack of skills, Ryan struggled in his plastering course, falling behind to the point where he left, therefore still leaving him with
no qualifications, no skills and no job. This also can be referred to the Home Office report (2007) where they found that offenders do not have the skills for 96% of jobs.
While in prison, Ryan could have gained information about The National Offender Management Service (NOMS), which was first created in 2004 following the publication of the Carter Report, Managing Offenders to Reduce Crime. NOMS deals with education, training and employment; it is a 'response to the very low levels of educational attainment that exist amongst offenders. This approach aims to provide a range of externally validated educational opportunities, that can help offenders acquire the skills necessary to gain employment and to assist them in finding and keeping a job' (Fletcher, 2010). It covers skills such as literacy and numeracy, and according to Porporino and Robinson (1992), 'offenders who improved their literacy and numeracy skills, had a significantly lower readmission to prison and that offenders who completed the course recognised, that personal changes had taken place, for example they were more concerned about other people's feelings and said they had improved self-control'. Lipton (1999) research can contribute to Porporino and Robinson research as from his collected data, he found that with reading skills, 6% of offending was reduced. And according to the Howard League report (2006) they found, that out of all the young men they interviewed in prison, who were asked, what would help them stop committing crime, 55% said being in employment would help.
Ryan is known to take illicit drugs, but he denies that he is drug dependant. Drug dependence is a substance addiction, which is the physical and/or a psychological need for a drug. It is when using drugs becomes the focus of a person's life and interferes with his or
her ability to cope without it. A dependency on drugs tends to involve the
user associating with other drug abusers, as well as having behavioural and health changes. In Ryan's case, he does have contact with other drugs abusers, his own brother and
he does seem to have behavioural changes, possibly anger and aggression, which could have a link with his offence of assault, while drunk and possibly on drugs.
Since Ryan was little, his older brother Dean was perhaps a person he looked u to, and he now seems to be following in Deans footsteps. He has grown up with an older brother whom is involved in drug dealing and became involved with the wrong group of friends since a young age; therefore it seems that his progress in life has been deteriorated by those around him.
Ryan is clearly in denial, if he came out of this denial and faced his issues, he could have become involved, while in prison, in the CARAT (Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Through-care) scheme, HM Prison Service (2004), refers to the CARAT scheme as being designed to increase the support available to drug using prisoners, both during custody and on release. Everyone going into prison that is identified as having a drug problem, is assessed, given advice about their misusing and referred to other services such as drug treatment programmes, housing, employment and external drugs intervention teams, to prepare for release. CARAT workers provide basic information about drugs and their effects; they may offer some structured one-to-one support and group work to prisoners who want to give up or cut down on their misusing. The recent Green Paper, Tackling Drugs Together, called for an effective and comprehensive strategy to tackle drug use and prisons contribute to this, by referring prisoners to drug treatments such as the , Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTO) which according to Home Office (2010), was introduced as a new community sentence under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. It was designed as a response to the growing evidence of links between problem drug use and persistent offending. A DTTO is a court order that is aimed at assisting offenders to reduce their drug use and related offending. Before being placed on such an order the offender must give agreement and must be willing to accept treatment for drug misuse; be frequently and randomly drug tested and attend court on at least a monthly basis so their progress can be reviewed. Home Office (2010) continued to state, that completion rates for DTTOs were low, where out of 161 offenders, 30% finished their orders successfully and 67% had their orders revoked. There were also statistically significant differences in reconviction rates, between those whose orders were revoked (91%) and those who completed their orders (53%).
There is also the Drug Intervention Programme (DIPS), which according to Home Office (2010) is a key part of the government's strategy for tackling drugs and reducing crime.
It seems to be working, as acquisitive crime, to which drug related crime makes a
substantial contribution, has fallen by 32% since the programme started and record
numbers of people are being helped with their drug misuse. They then stated that
'more than 4,500 drug miss-users are entering treatment and rehabilitation programs through DIP every month and many are now back in the mainstream of society'
(Home Office, 2010). However this help is only there if the offender wants it, and
with Ryan being in denial, he has missed an opportunity to change his ways.
Ryan could have also had the chance to learn and take action on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (RHOA) 1974, which is aimed at 'helping people who have been convicted of a criminal offence and who have not re-offended since. Anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offence, and received a sentence of not more than two and a half years in prison, benefits as a result of the Act. If he or she is not convicted again during a specified period, otherwise known as the rehabilitation period, the length of which depends on the sentence given for the original offence, running from the date of the conviction, they become a rehabilitated person, and their conviction becomes spent. Once a conviction is spent,
the convicted person does not have to reveal it or admit its existence in most
circumstances' (Home office, 2010). This will help them to get a job and build a career, however, there are some exceptions relating to employment, the two main exceptions
relate to working with children or working with the elderly or sick people.
According to Greve (1997), homelessness in Britain is not a recent phenomenon and that there has always been a substantial minority of people, who for a variety of reasons have been unable to provide or retain housing for themselves or their families, and the patterns of causes, have changed over time. In Ryan's case it is due to being in unemployment, from the lack of qualifications and skills he has detained throughout his teen years.
In the United Kingdom, homelessness has become defined and discussed in terms of the main policy, this policy responds to the 1977 Housing Act, which put in place for the first time, duties on the local authorities housing department, not only to re-house homeless individuals permanently, but to do so as a matter of priority. Departments were given explicit responsibility for re-housing the homeless, who after assessment, were deemed to have met statutory criteria, deciding whether or not they were homeless and eligible for housing.
According to a report by Shelter (2006), prior to the 1980's there was very little guidance or regulation on how social housing should be allocated. Most landlords allocated their accommodation on a discretionary basis or by date order. Increasing pressures were placed on social housing due to declining development programmes and the impact of the 'Right to Buy', national policy and good practice recognised the need for allocating housing. Since then, nearly all landlords have adopted the needs based policies using the point's schemes to assess relative need. However so far as housing allocation policies are concerned, the problems varied in significance, from there being no apparent changes evident in the policy since the introduction of the legislative changes. Therefore, potentially calling into question every specific problem with the point awarded system for individuals. This point system will have a big impact on an individual such as Ryan, as from research by Shelter (2006), they found that a person such as Ryan, would be seen as ineligible, as the 'law required that authorities must not house anyone deemed ineligible including those ineligible due to behaviour, people guilty of unacceptable behaviour, were an ineligible category (Shelter 2006).
Furthermore, the fact that having no qualifications or skills will reduce Ryan's chances
of find a job, and being able to afford a place to live. And what little money he
does retain and from the information given, he is more than likely spending what he does have on illicit drugs, suggesting that he is not putting anything aside to save up for a
place to live, or even giving rent to the friend in which he is staying with.
Having a house could keep Ryan out of trouble, and help him start to put his
life together, according to the LGA (2006), their research found that stable housing
can reduce reoffending by more than 20%. And according to the Howard league report (2006) they found that out of all the young men they interviewed in
prison, who were asked, what would help them stop committing crime, 26%
said that having a stable place to live would help them to stop.
To conclude; from having a history such as Ryan's, he will find himself in many situations where he may feel he is being discriminated against. Many places of work will not take on a person with a criminal record, and for someone who has an offence of assault, jobs highly involving the public, namely supermarket and retail stores, will not employ someone with that offence and possibly with an anger issue. Also having a reputation of taking drugs may reach an employer, or may come up when doing a criminal bureau check, depending on whether or not he has been caught in possession of drugs. Being homeless is also an issue while trying for a job, as you need a permanent address to be registered with national insurance and also to be able to have a bank account, so that your wages can get paid into. Therefore, each of these issues are related, a person cannot get employed without having an address, yet a person cannot afford a home without a being employed, this is a vicious circle for a person to be in, especially someone with a background such as Ryan's.