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Two topics - Depression and a "Virtual Prison"


Two topics - Depression and a "Virtual Prison"

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Thorswrath
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DisplacedR - 1 Apr 19 11:52 AM
Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM


Hi Jonathan,
 You sound exactly how I feel! I was released from prison exactly 3 years ago and recalled after 5 months before being released again after 7 months. So I've now been out 2 years and I feel like I have got no closer to 'being free'. I often refer to still being in a prison. It's hard to see it any other way as no matter what you do you just don't seem to be allowed to move on. 
 When I was first released, my main probation officer was in a different area than I was so I had a caretaker probation officer who worked with me on her behalf. The caretaker was ok but not really helpful and the main one was completely useless! So I didn't get much support in order to try to rebuild my life. There was also a couple of people at the job centre who specifically worked with ex-offenders to help them find suitable work. Then once I got out the last time, probation was rubbish still and to top it off, the job centre got rid of the sector that helped ex-offenders. This means that we are treated the same as every other 'customer' when the reality is, we are far from!
 As for housing..... wow. Just no chance really. I was released to an approved premises hostel and getting a property to move on was extremely difficult! There are so many barriers to housing as well as jobs that you feel like there is no point in even being alive! My case worker in the hostel (who really was just an amazing woman in general) managed to get a landlord to let a room to me. The room was ok, the house was horrible and the garden was literally piled up with rubbish bags that stunk the whole house out! But I took it because I knew that I was 'lucky' to have the opportunity to get on with my life. So things at this time was looking more positive (just needed to demolish that wall into employment)... then, it was posted on the internet what area i was in, details of my offence (some inaccurate may I add!) And my photo. I no longer felt safe in shared accommodation and I left the area for a while. I only went back because I am in a relationship and my partner lives in that area. But it meant that as well as no job still, I now had no accommodation again. All of this of course puts a strain on my relationship too. Everything has a knock-on effect and never seems to balance out and get better.
 I managed to get a job at a warehouse, which I knew was pure fluke, but after a week my partner and I had an argument and I had to move out. I don't drive and couldn't get back to the job from where I was, so I had to leave it! We are back together but now I'm jobless again.... And I recently was informed by an agency that I was with for 7-8 months (despite being honest and disclosing my conviction when signing up with them) that due to my conviction they can not offer any jobs to me! I contacted them several times in those months and not once did they say anything! I am livid!
 And after all the hassle I've experienced, I have now hit rock bottom. I am now in a situation where, I can't live with my partner until I have a job because it's not fair on her (or myself even) that she has to support me as well as herself and her flat. I am now living in the area where I was convicted (definitely feels like a prison as I can't leave my mum's  house without fear of being seen), so I can't get a job around here, don't drive so can't really work outside of the town either. Jib centre is threatening to sanction me if I don't apply for jobs (but like myself, he doesn't know where I can work, what jobs I can go for, what help I can get... but I'm expected to know?!)... the way I see it, there is only 2 options for me. Prostitute myself or end it all. 

Have you considered writing to your local MP? i did it once, not that it really changed anything and i only got a standard 'more people are now in employment' letter. The point is, if people don't have any understanding of the actual situations we find ourselves in then nothing will change. it's not about making a 'complaint' because that would be in poor taste, but more about educating people. employment reduces the conviction rate is a mantra banded around by others but people in the government have never really sat down and looked at how actual 'rehabilitation' of offenders works in practice.

I would say 80% of my rehabilitation has been done off my own back with my own resourcefulness and willingness to learn and adapt. The problem RSO's face specifically with employment is this ingrained belief in the general public and the gutter press that this group of offenders can't be rehabilitated. And there is the shame factor, even being associated with an RSO for whatever reason can cause problems, all based around fear and prejudice. Despite the public's fear and disgust, Low to medium risk RSO's have one of the lowest rates of recidivism amongst the criminal population but you try to tell that to people and it goes in one ear and out the other.

If i were you i would consider googling charities and organisations specifically geared towards helping ex offenders such as APM mentioned by Mr W. There is also NACRO who are useful. It seems like a tremendous amount of hoops to jump through just so someone can basically say to an employer 'yeah this one's OK give him a shot' but if you stop trying and give up then you are just allowing the myth that offenders can't be rehabilitated to continue. Eventually in life if you keep trying, keep getting back up and your intentions are good the universe just stops for a second and lets you through, that's what i believe.








Mr W
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DisplacedR - 1 Apr 19 11:52 AM
Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM


Hi Jonathan,
 You sound exactly how I feel! I was released from prison exactly 3 years ago and recalled after 5 months before being released again after 7 months. So I've now been out 2 years and I feel like I have got no closer to 'being free'. I often refer to still being in a prison. It's hard to see it any other way as no matter what you do you just don't seem to be allowed to move on. 
 When I was first released, my main probation officer was in a different area than I was so I had a caretaker probation officer who worked with me on her behalf. The caretaker was ok but not really helpful and the main one was completely useless! So I didn't get much support in order to try to rebuild my life. There was also a couple of people at the job centre who specifically worked with ex-offenders to help them find suitable work. Then once I got out the last time, probation was rubbish still and to top it off, the job centre got rid of the sector that helped ex-offenders. This means that we are treated the same as every other 'customer' when the reality is, we are far from!
 As for housing..... wow. Just no chance really. I was released to an approved premises hostel and getting a property to move on was extremely difficult! There are so many barriers to housing as well as jobs that you feel like there is no point in even being alive! My case worker in the hostel (who really was just an amazing woman in general) managed to get a landlord to let a room to me. The room was ok, the house was horrible and the garden was literally piled up with rubbish bags that stunk the whole house out! But I took it because I knew that I was 'lucky' to have the opportunity to get on with my life. So things at this time was looking more positive (just needed to demolish that wall into employment)... then, it was posted on the internet what area i was in, details of my offence (some inaccurate may I add!) And my photo. I no longer felt safe in shared accommodation and I left the area for a while. I only went back because I am in a relationship and my partner lives in that area. But it meant that as well as no job still, I now had no accommodation again. All of this of course puts a strain on my relationship too. Everything has a knock-on effect and never seems to balance out and get better.
 I managed to get a job at a warehouse, which I knew was pure fluke, but after a week my partner and I had an argument and I had to move out. I don't drive and couldn't get back to the job from where I was, so I had to leave it! We are back together but now I'm jobless again.... And I recently was informed by an agency that I was with for 7-8 months (despite being honest and disclosing my conviction when signing up with them) that due to my conviction they can not offer any jobs to me! I contacted them several times in those months and not once did they say anything! I am livid!
 And after all the hassle I've experienced, I have now hit rock bottom. I am now in a situation where, I can't live with my partner until I have a job because it's not fair on her (or myself even) that she has to support me as well as herself and her flat. I am now living in the area where I was convicted (definitely feels like a prison as I can't leave my mum's  house without fear of being seen), so I can't get a job around here, don't drive so can't really work outside of the town either. Jib centre is threatening to sanction me if I don't apply for jobs (but like myself, he doesn't know where I can work, what jobs I can go for, what help I can get... but I'm expected to know?!)... the way I see it, there is only 2 options for me. Prostitute myself or end it all. 

Hi Displaced.
What a ride you've had. But you have more than 2 options, and I'm sure your mum and your partner would agree with me that certainly one of your options is not an option. You've got through the hardest part and good for you for doing that. Some people don't have the strength you have shown so far. All of us on this forum know it's so difficult to rebuild from nothing. This forum is a great way to support each other through that. 

One of your goals seems to me to get to a time when you're unspent, which will then, hopefully, give you that feeling of freedom. So focus on the what you can do up until that point. You've clearly shown you are employable and if you can crack that hurdle then you can then be with your partner and build from there together.

As I said to someone else, your conviction does not take away your skills, your work experience or your life experience. You may just have to apply those things in a different way to get past this hurdle. Have you got any skills you can sell online? I'm working from home as a freelance at the moment, I'm not earning much, but it's keeping me busy, running down the clock on my sentence and I'm learning a few things about self-employment on the way. The best thing about being freelance online is people just want the job doing, they don't care about anything else.

Also, have you had contact with APM? - https://apm-uk.co.uk/     the people there help offenders back into work, offer free employment training courses etc. My experience with them has been positive and completely non-judgemental as they help people from all sorts of criminal backgrounds. Appointments with them get me out of the house (they pay your travel) and a chance to chat about things open and honestly. It's their job to help you and I get back into work.

I hope that helps and I'm glad you're here sharing your story and you can see by other posts that you're not alone with the situation you find yourself in because we all know it feels like it at times. We are proof that the system doesn't work, especially those who are screaming out for employment, and it won't change if we give in.


=====
Fighting or Accepting - its difficult to know which is right and when.
Edited
4 Months Ago by Mr W
DisplacedR
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Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM


Hi Jonathan,
 You sound exactly how I feel! I was released from prison exactly 3 years ago and recalled after 5 months before being released again after 7 months. So I've now been out 2 years and I feel like I have got no closer to 'being free'. I often refer to still being in a prison. It's hard to see it any other way as no matter what you do you just don't seem to be allowed to move on. 
 When I was first released, my main probation officer was in a different area than I was so I had a caretaker probation officer who worked with me on her behalf. The caretaker was ok but not really helpful and the main one was completely useless! So I didn't get much support in order to try to rebuild my life. There was also a couple of people at the job centre who specifically worked with ex-offenders to help them find suitable work. Then once I got out the last time, probation was rubbish still and to top it off, the job centre got rid of the sector that helped ex-offenders. This means that we are treated the same as every other 'customer' when the reality is, we are far from!
 As for housing..... wow. Just no chance really. I was released to an approved premises hostel and getting a property to move on was extremely difficult! There are so many barriers to housing as well as jobs that you feel like there is no point in even being alive! My case worker in the hostel (who really was just an amazing woman in general) managed to get a landlord to let a room to me. The room was ok, the house was horrible and the garden was literally piled up with rubbish bags that stunk the whole house out! But I took it because I knew that I was 'lucky' to have the opportunity to get on with my life. So things at this time was looking more positive (just needed to demolish that wall into employment)... then, it was posted on the internet what area i was in, details of my offence (some inaccurate may I add!) And my photo. I no longer felt safe in shared accommodation and I left the area for a while. I only went back because I am in a relationship and my partner lives in that area. But it meant that as well as no job still, I now had no accommodation again. All of this of course puts a strain on my relationship too. Everything has a knock-on effect and never seems to balance out and get better.
 I managed to get a job at a warehouse, which I knew was pure fluke, but after a week my partner and I had an argument and I had to move out. I don't drive and couldn't get back to the job from where I was, so I had to leave it! We are back together but now I'm jobless again.... And I recently was informed by an agency that I was with for 7-8 months (despite being honest and disclosing my conviction when signing up with them) that due to my conviction they can not offer any jobs to me! I contacted them several times in those months and not once did they say anything! I am livid!
 And after all the hassle I've experienced, I have now hit rock bottom. I am now in a situation where, I can't live with my partner until I have a job because it's not fair on her (or myself even) that she has to support me as well as herself and her flat. I am now living in the area where I was convicted (definitely feels like a prison as I can't leave my mum's  house without fear of being seen), so I can't get a job around here, don't drive so can't really work outside of the town either. Jib centre is threatening to sanction me if I don't apply for jobs (but like myself, he doesn't know where I can work, what jobs I can go for, what help I can get... but I'm expected to know?!)... the way I see it, there is only 2 options for me. Prostitute myself or end it all. 

AndyR
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Can't add much in terms of advice here, others have given some great pointers which I'll be following up too. I'm just in my 60's and my conviction means I'll pretty much never work again in 'normal' employment - I'll be 69 when the conviction is spent, live alone, but I'll give you a couple of specific things that have helped me.

In terms of employment, I've mostly just given up and I'm living in savings till I get to my state pension. But, one thing I am working on is creating Android apps. Obviously it's not for everyone - you need a computer for a start, but all the tools and tuition you need are out there on line and they're free. I've developed an app using free webspace alongside these tools, used a free wordpress account to publicize it and, if it takes off, I might make a little money out of it. 

In terms of depression and isolation, two things have helped me. Again, these aren't for everyone but here they are. I joined my local U3A (University of the 3rd Age) and I've become involved in several groups inside that. Don't be put off by the 'University' bit, you don't need a degree :O). What that's given me is a load of casual acquaintances - not friends and not people who would be bothered to google me - but groups I can turn up at where people know me in that context and treat me like everyone else. It gives a nice break from that feeling of being alone. I've also since my initial arrest, become a bit of a fan of a guy called Ekert Tolle - he's a kind of spiritualist and I ignore a lot of his stuff on cosmic intelligence etc. But a major thread of his stuff is about getting on with life as it is and as it is right now. He's all over YouTube and I often drift off to sleep listening to him ramble.

This forum is good too.

   

Edited
5 Months Ago by AndyR
Jonathan61
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Thorswrath - 21 Feb 19 10:20 PM
2 things I can say straight off the bat to help you from wasting time in the job market. 1) Avoid high street employment agencies 2) Don't rely on the job centre for work placements.
I am an RSO with an indefinite SHPO PLUS publication of my ofence (Downloading) in the local newspaper and 3 years on from my conviction I am in gainful employment, but i remember that first year or so very well.

I started to develop a sense of apathy, i even got one job with an agency working in a delivery depot for one day and when i told them about my conviction they let me go and didn't pay me either.  In my experience if you have a job application form and it has the dreaded unspent conviction box, don't bother because i know from my experience and others that the job will likely be a minimum wage or slightly better low skilled job and simply, the recruiter does not want the hassle of having to explain to their manager why they have taken on a criminal rather than the inevitable next person who comes through the door. They can afford to be picky in the low skilled jobs since they are fast turn around of staff but anything other than a caution for posession of drugs will most likely get your CV thrown in the bin.

Unless you know the decision maker very well or they are a company who are geared towards giving people a chance, going down a traditional route of 'see an advert and apply' is going to yield unfavourable results.
Age is a big factor too, if you are relatively young like me (mid 30's) then you might be able to do physical labour jobs. That's how i got work, getting a CSCS card and working as a labourer on building sites, but it can be very demanding work and often short term. Now i'm looking to do a carpentry course and i'm working as a skilled labourer. The construction industry is a good place to look for opportunities. To be honest, a lot of the people i have worked with have criminal records longer than my arm. Also for the sub contractor type jobs they don't ask about unspent convictions, the most important thing is you have the relevant training and turn up and do a good job.

I'm also very aware that if someone decided to google me then it could be a problem, so far (touch wood) that hasn't happened in my current line of work.

If you don't fancy grafting hard, keeping your head down and not revealing too much about yourself (think grey man) then the other option is start some kind of business that provides a service or sells a product or products. Anyone can sell on Ebay or Amazon and if you can learn to make a few things then that might be good if you are creative. To sum it up, it's less about 'finding a job' rather it's about 'how can i make money' because that's pretty much why we work.

I have learned the hard way that you have to re- train and adapt. I think if i was in my late 40's or 50's i would struggle very much so i do sympathize with the older people on here who still want to work but have the age factor against them as well as their conviction




I'm glad I started this thread - it's certainly shown how common it is and we're really not alone, it helps to know we can support each other.

My situation is this. I am in my late 50s. Since leaving school I suffered with anxiety and panic attacks for approx. 35 years, which was eventually diagnosed as Coeliac Disease. The anxiety severely hindered any distance I could travel. So, now I have 40 years of zero work history, a CV that's not worth talking about and a criminal conviction. How do I break that down?

I live in a seaside town, so inevitably there are lots of hotels and B&Bs, no chance of a job in that sector. Also this town has an extremly high concentration of care and nursing homes, so also no chance of jobs there either. Only last night, there was a job I could easily do. Delivery driver for a pharmacy. I like driving, and I know my town perfectly. Of course the dreaded DBS check came into it so don't even go any further.

I know the answer would be to move away from here. Start afresh where I'm not known - but I'd have no friends and I'd find that very difficult being alone. I really am stuck in this town.

I have skills for Desktop Publishing - I know I can do it, and like I said I have one definite contract and one coming up in a few months. I can work from home on my computer and no-one needs to see me. I have a website, which I have placed myself in a different but nearby area and changed my name, so it's difficult for people to search on Google for me.

If I can be classed as having Limited Capability for Work Related Activity on Universal Credit (which I've had before on ESA for the majority of 8 years), plus supplementing my benefits to the tune of £198 a month with my little business then I'll be a happy(er) man. I have to wait till August to be seen before a benefits tribunal!!! Fingers crossed. I just need to get myself advertised - and that's the hard part.

Hoping you all have a decent day to cope with.

Edited
6 Months Ago by Jonathan61
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2 things I can say straight off the bat to help you from wasting time in the job market. 1) Avoid high street employment agencies 2) Don't rely on the job centre for work placements.
I am an RSO with an indefinite SHPO PLUS publication of my ofence (Downloading) in the local newspaper and 3 years on from my conviction I am in gainful employment, but i remember that first year or so very well.

I started to develop a sense of apathy, i even got one job with an agency working in a delivery depot for one day and when i told them about my conviction they let me go and didn't pay me either.  In my experience if you have a job application form and it has the dreaded unspent conviction box, don't bother because i know from my experience and others that the job will likely be a minimum wage or slightly better low skilled job and simply, the recruiter does not want the hassle of having to explain to their manager why they have taken on a criminal rather than the inevitable next person who comes through the door. They can afford to be picky in the low skilled jobs since they are fast turn around of staff but anything other than a caution for posession of drugs will most likely get your CV thrown in the bin.

Unless you know the decision maker very well or they are a company who are geared towards giving people a chance, going down a traditional route of 'see an advert and apply' is going to yield unfavourable results.
Age is a big factor too, if you are relatively young like me (mid 30's) then you might be able to do physical labour jobs. That's how i got work, getting a CSCS card and working as a labourer on building sites, but it can be very demanding work and often short term. Now i'm looking to do a carpentry course and i'm working as a skilled labourer. The construction industry is a good place to look for opportunities. To be honest, a lot of the people i have worked with have criminal records longer than my arm. Also for the sub contractor type jobs they don't ask about unspent convictions, the most important thing is you have the relevant training and turn up and do a good job.

I'm also very aware that if someone decided to google me then it could be a problem, so far (touch wood) that hasn't happened in my current line of work.

If you don't fancy grafting hard, keeping your head down and not revealing too much about yourself (think grey man) then the other option is start some kind of business that provides a service or sells a product or products. Anyone can sell on Ebay or Amazon and if you can learn to make a few things then that might be good if you are creative. To sum it up, it's less about 'finding a job' rather it's about 'how can i make money' because that's pretty much why we work.

I have learned the hard way that you have to re- train and adapt. I think if i was in my late 40's or 50's i would struggle very much so i do sympathize with the older people on here who still want to work but have the age factor against them as well as their conviction




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Mr W - 21 Feb 19 3:17 PM
Hi Jonathan, Thank you for sharing this. You've articulated a post in such a way I could have written the exact same thing myself. It is tough and myself and others can completely empathise.

Re: Email. You've done the difficult part already and well done for doing that because it's not easy! I'd suggest chasing it up with another email or phone call (Try and do private number so they can't recognise/ignore your call) and say "I know you're busy... etc... how thankful you were for the opportunity of a chat... just wondering if... " if it comes to nothing, then you've done everything you can. They might genuinely have been busy, they might appreciate your determination, who knows but they just might have something and you owe it to yourself to push for an answer.

Not hearing back is, these days, common. I've applied for things (which don't even have THAT box to tick), I've worked on the application and have heard nothing. It is rude. 'We can't respond to every application due to the sheer volume' is pathetic. To have a courtesy rejection email (even to copy and paste) I believe is certainly worth the time to alleviate someone's situation on a human level and should be owed to someone who has taken the time to apply! The struggle with employment is real and Unlock have been doing some great things but KNOW that you are not alone.

You are NOT unemployable though, your conviction does not take away your skills, your work experience or your life experience. You may just have to apply those things in a different way to get past this hurdle. Have you got any skills you can sell online? I'm working from home as a freelance at the moment, I'm not earning much, but it's keeping me busy, building up a bit of a portfolio giving me confidence in what I can do, running down the clock on my sentence and I'm learning a few things about self-employment on the way, someone else on here is also running a successful online business. The best thing about being freelance online is people just want the job doing, they don't care about anything else. It's a rare instance the real world should take note of the virtual world. So maybe doing something like that could turn your 'virtual prison' into a 'virtual office' ?

Also, have you had contact with APM? - https://apm-uk.co.uk/     the people there help offenders back into work, offer free employment training courses etc. My experience with them has been positive and completely non-judgemental as they help people from all sorts of criminal backgrounds. Appointments with them get me out of the house (they pay your travel) and a chance to chat about things open and honestly.

Re: dealing with emotions - you've summed it up yourself - If you are having a bad day all you can do is get through that day in the safest and calmest way possible and hope tomorrow is an OK day. I do feel strongly though - I can only speak from my experience here - the mental health of first offenders isn't taken seriously at all. I got a short suspended sentence, it's not the sentence I have a problem with - I broke the law, punished, that's fine - but eeeeverything else which surrounds that going forward - even after the sentence -  for me, has been shock punches to the gut one after another after another and there are SO many critically debilitating things I disagree with about the 'system', but that's a conversation for another day. haha.

Apologies for the long post but I hope it helps and do keep coming back to this forum to get it out if you need to.

========

Thank you for your wonderful post. I've maintained all along that those of us with convictions need to support each other, otherwise it's a very lonely existence, even when we have others who sympathise with us. Only those who have been through it know what it's like.

First of all, I'd like to reiterate what you said about justice. What I did was wrong, I was rightly punished and did my time - I have zero problem with that. But we also have a justice system that always sides with those in authority. I was set-up by the police and I now have a SHPO for the next 2.5 years. I know I was telling the truth, my friends told the truth. The police told lies, but who do the magistrates believe? And you wonder why I/We despair?

I do have skills I can put to good use, in fact I'm trying as much as I know to get work, I've started what I would call a Micro company in Desktop Publishing - thankfully I have two regular contracts, but all I can do with it is make myself pocket money. I can earn £198 a month on top of my UC without any deductions, which would suit me down to the ground. I'd feel so much happier. My problem now is getting myself advertised, whcih inevitably costs money - something I don't have.

I shall take a look at the APM people - can't do any harm.

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Hi Jonathan, Thank you for sharing this. You've articulated a post in such a way I could have written the exact same thing myself. It is tough and myself and others can completely empathise.

Re: Email. You've done the difficult part already and well done for doing that because it's not easy! I'd suggest chasing it up with another email or phone call (Try and do private number so they can't recognise/ignore your call) and say "I know you're busy... etc... how thankful you were for the opportunity of a chat... just wondering if... " if it comes to nothing, then you've done everything you can. They might genuinely have been busy, they might appreciate your determination, who knows but they just might have something and you owe it to yourself to push for an answer.

Not hearing back is, these days, common. I've applied for things (which don't even have THAT box to tick), I've worked on the application and have heard nothing. It is rude. 'We can't respond to every application due to the sheer volume' is pathetic. To have a courtesy rejection email (even to copy and paste) I believe is certainly worth the time to alleviate someone's situation on a human level and should be owed to someone who has taken the time to apply! The struggle with employment is real and Unlock have been doing some great things but KNOW that you are not alone.

You are NOT unemployable though, your conviction does not take away your skills, your work experience or your life experience. You may just have to apply those things in a different way to get past this hurdle. Have you got any skills you can sell online? I'm working from home as a freelance at the moment, I'm not earning much, but it's keeping me busy, building up a bit of a portfolio giving me confidence in what I can do, running down the clock on my sentence and I'm learning a few things about self-employment on the way, someone else on here is also running a successful online business. The best thing about being freelance online is people just want the job doing, they don't care about anything else. It's a rare instance the real world should take note of the virtual world. So maybe doing something like that could turn your 'virtual prison' into a 'virtual office' ?

Also, have you had contact with APM? - https://apm-uk.co.uk/     the people there help offenders back into work, offer free employment training courses etc. My experience with them has been positive and completely non-judgemental as they help people from all sorts of criminal backgrounds. Appointments with them get me out of the house (they pay your travel) and a chance to chat about things open and honestly.

Re: dealing with emotions - you've summed it up yourself - If you are having a bad day all you can do is get through that day in the safest and calmest way possible and hope tomorrow is an OK day. I do feel strongly though - I can only speak from my experience here - the mental health of first offenders isn't taken seriously at all. I got a short suspended sentence, it's not the sentence I have a problem with - I broke the law, punished, that's fine - but eeeeverything else which surrounds that going forward - even after the sentence -  for me, has been shock punches to the gut one after another after another and there are SO many critically debilitating things I disagree with about the 'system', but that's a conversation for another day. haha.

Apologies for the long post but I hope it helps and do keep coming back to this forum to get it out if you need to.


=====
Fighting or Accepting - its difficult to know which is right and when.
Edited
4 Months Ago by Mr W
AB2014
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CC - 21 Feb 19 12:13 PM
CC - 21 Feb 19 12:04 PM
AB2014 - 21 Feb 19 12:02 PM
CC - 21 Feb 19 11:34 AM
Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM
Hi all,

Was wondering how you all cope with your emotions? One day everything appears OK and I'm able to cope, the next I get depressed. To give some examples, only yesterday I was looking online for a job (why I don't know, as I'm unemployable) and I saw one or two "potential" jobs. However, the realisation dawned that there was just no-way I could ever get the job as it would be facing the general public and that could have the potential to place me at risk of assault. Next, I find a job that would be OK. As I am not prepared to go through a long application process, I go and see the manager and explain about my difficulties. He told me to send him something by email and he would reply in 24 hours. That was a week ago and still I've heard nothing!

Why do we have to put up with this? Are we not allowed to have some common courtesy even though we have a conviction?

Plus - the benefit system doesn't help. Do we really have to struggle on Universal Credit till we become pensionable age?

Secondly, due to the realisation I'm unemployable, do you feel the powers that be have you almost in total lockdown? Restrictions on almost everything put us in "Virtual Prisons." Yes we can live and move in society, but they will never let you go, always the fear of being watched so you're stuck.

Anyone else like this?

Regards

Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I can very much relate what you are feeling and going through. I think to be honest among ex offenders it is pretty much par for the course. I have three things that help me get through.
 1, I did a CBT course via the NHS. I discovered that whilst in prison and did it through health care. You sit in a booth with a computer and work through it, it may not sound much but it did help me to better understand my feelings and deal with them(and on a side note the inside psychology team didn't even know it was available). The outcome of it was that on the days when I am down I can look inside myself and recognise what is going on, knowing it is just a feeling that I am internalising helps me deal with it and put it in proportion, for example, monday feeling good, tuesday feeling crap. What has changed in the real world from monday to tuesday? nothing except the way I am feeling so I can then better deal with that.
2nd I am very fortunate to have found a very understanding and loving partner (well actually she found me and she already knew what had happened) Moral of that tale is "Not every body out there is a judgemental as**le . She supports me a lot and I dont care what other peoples opinion is, thats their problem.
3rd I have a job working for myself, It has nothing in common with my previous vocation of 30 years, and I never imagined myself doing what I do now. Ok it doesn't pay a lot of money but it gives me a livable income, some self respect and keeps me off benefits. best of it is after working for a well paying but high pressure company for many years I am loving being my own boss. The trick is thinking up something you can do. I first thought that sounded impossible as I was far too set in  my ways but I did come up with something and surprised myself when I did. it is always worth some thought. I hope you can get an idea.
AB2014 I thought you was a young un !! dont know where I got that from, sounds like you and me are "of the same age " almost over the hill but refusing to go :-)
Chris


Probably ageism, because I have plenty to say for myself so I must be a youngster...? Wink Just to be clear, the 2014 part isn't my year of birth! BigGrin I only have another 9 years on UC before I can claim a pension. Sad
I will be there before you then mate.



A few examples of others I know who have had an idea and an idea can be easier to find than a job (especially post brexit when all jobs have gone abroad Nissan Land Rover Jaguar, Ford Toyota) 
My partners friend does "Shabby chic " furniture which is to say she scours free to collect sites and charity shops, gets lots of cheap/free furniture, re purposes it and sells it online. Does pretty well I understand.
Another guy I know sells via Amazon, never going to get rich but hey.
My old work colleague delivers cars for a garage group and is kept quite busy ...
Jeff Bezos started off selling books!

Richard Branson started out selling records, and on a fairly small scale. I understand that in the early days, the way things were run almost led to him joining our community.... There is money in "pre-loved" furniture - you only have to watch Money for Nothing on the BBC, for example.
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CC - 21 Feb 19 12:04 PM
AB2014 - 21 Feb 19 12:02 PM
CC - 21 Feb 19 11:34 AM
Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM
Hi all,

Was wondering how you all cope with your emotions? One day everything appears OK and I'm able to cope, the next I get depressed. To give some examples, only yesterday I was looking online for a job (why I don't know, as I'm unemployable) and I saw one or two "potential" jobs. However, the realisation dawned that there was just no-way I could ever get the job as it would be facing the general public and that could have the potential to place me at risk of assault. Next, I find a job that would be OK. As I am not prepared to go through a long application process, I go and see the manager and explain about my difficulties. He told me to send him something by email and he would reply in 24 hours. That was a week ago and still I've heard nothing!

Why do we have to put up with this? Are we not allowed to have some common courtesy even though we have a conviction?

Plus - the benefit system doesn't help. Do we really have to struggle on Universal Credit till we become pensionable age?

Secondly, due to the realisation I'm unemployable, do you feel the powers that be have you almost in total lockdown? Restrictions on almost everything put us in "Virtual Prisons." Yes we can live and move in society, but they will never let you go, always the fear of being watched so you're stuck.

Anyone else like this?

Regards

Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I can very much relate what you are feeling and going through. I think to be honest among ex offenders it is pretty much par for the course. I have three things that help me get through.
 1, I did a CBT course via the NHS. I discovered that whilst in prison and did it through health care. You sit in a booth with a computer and work through it, it may not sound much but it did help me to better understand my feelings and deal with them(and on a side note the inside psychology team didn't even know it was available). The outcome of it was that on the days when I am down I can look inside myself and recognise what is going on, knowing it is just a feeling that I am internalising helps me deal with it and put it in proportion, for example, monday feeling good, tuesday feeling crap. What has changed in the real world from monday to tuesday? nothing except the way I am feeling so I can then better deal with that.
2nd I am very fortunate to have found a very understanding and loving partner (well actually she found me and she already knew what had happened) Moral of that tale is "Not every body out there is a judgemental as**le . She supports me a lot and I dont care what other peoples opinion is, thats their problem.
3rd I have a job working for myself, It has nothing in common with my previous vocation of 30 years, and I never imagined myself doing what I do now. Ok it doesn't pay a lot of money but it gives me a livable income, some self respect and keeps me off benefits. best of it is after working for a well paying but high pressure company for many years I am loving being my own boss. The trick is thinking up something you can do. I first thought that sounded impossible as I was far too set in  my ways but I did come up with something and surprised myself when I did. it is always worth some thought. I hope you can get an idea.
AB2014 I thought you was a young un !! dont know where I got that from, sounds like you and me are "of the same age " almost over the hill but refusing to go :-)
Chris


Probably ageism, because I have plenty to say for myself so I must be a youngster...? Wink Just to be clear, the 2014 part isn't my year of birth! BigGrin I only have another 9 years on UC before I can claim a pension. Sad
I will be there before you then mate.



A few examples of others I know who have had an idea and an idea can be easier to find than a job (especially post brexit when all jobs have gone abroad Nissan Land Rover Jaguar, Ford Toyota) 
My partners friend does "Shabby chic " furniture which is to say she scours free to collect sites and charity shops, gets lots of cheap/free furniture, re purposes it and sells it online. Does pretty well I understand.
Another guy I know sells via Amazon, never going to get rich but hey.
My old work colleague delivers cars for a garage group and is kept quite busy ...
Jeff Bezos started off selling books!
CC
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AB2014 - 21 Feb 19 12:02 PM
CC - 21 Feb 19 11:34 AM
Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM
Hi all,

Was wondering how you all cope with your emotions? One day everything appears OK and I'm able to cope, the next I get depressed. To give some examples, only yesterday I was looking online for a job (why I don't know, as I'm unemployable) and I saw one or two "potential" jobs. However, the realisation dawned that there was just no-way I could ever get the job as it would be facing the general public and that could have the potential to place me at risk of assault. Next, I find a job that would be OK. As I am not prepared to go through a long application process, I go and see the manager and explain about my difficulties. He told me to send him something by email and he would reply in 24 hours. That was a week ago and still I've heard nothing!

Why do we have to put up with this? Are we not allowed to have some common courtesy even though we have a conviction?

Plus - the benefit system doesn't help. Do we really have to struggle on Universal Credit till we become pensionable age?

Secondly, due to the realisation I'm unemployable, do you feel the powers that be have you almost in total lockdown? Restrictions on almost everything put us in "Virtual Prisons." Yes we can live and move in society, but they will never let you go, always the fear of being watched so you're stuck.

Anyone else like this?

Regards

Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I can very much relate what you are feeling and going through. I think to be honest among ex offenders it is pretty much par for the course. I have three things that help me get through.
 1, I did a CBT course via the NHS. I discovered that whilst in prison and did it through health care. You sit in a booth with a computer and work through it, it may not sound much but it did help me to better understand my feelings and deal with them(and on a side note the inside psychology team didn't even know it was available). The outcome of it was that on the days when I am down I can look inside myself and recognise what is going on, knowing it is just a feeling that I am internalising helps me deal with it and put it in proportion, for example, monday feeling good, tuesday feeling crap. What has changed in the real world from monday to tuesday? nothing except the way I am feeling so I can then better deal with that.
2nd I am very fortunate to have found a very understanding and loving partner (well actually she found me and she already knew what had happened) Moral of that tale is "Not every body out there is a judgemental as**le . She supports me a lot and I dont care what other peoples opinion is, thats their problem.
3rd I have a job working for myself, It has nothing in common with my previous vocation of 30 years, and I never imagined myself doing what I do now. Ok it doesn't pay a lot of money but it gives me a livable income, some self respect and keeps me off benefits. best of it is after working for a well paying but high pressure company for many years I am loving being my own boss. The trick is thinking up something you can do. I first thought that sounded impossible as I was far too set in  my ways but I did come up with something and surprised myself when I did. it is always worth some thought. I hope you can get an idea.
AB2014 I thought you was a young un !! dont know where I got that from, sounds like you and me are "of the same age " almost over the hill but refusing to go :-)
Chris


Probably ageism, because I have plenty to say for myself so I must be a youngster...? Wink Just to be clear, the 2014 part isn't my year of birth! BigGrin I only have another 9 years on UC before I can claim a pension. Sad
I will be there before you then mate.



AB2014
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CC - 21 Feb 19 11:34 AM
Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM
Hi all,

Was wondering how you all cope with your emotions? One day everything appears OK and I'm able to cope, the next I get depressed. To give some examples, only yesterday I was looking online for a job (why I don't know, as I'm unemployable) and I saw one or two "potential" jobs. However, the realisation dawned that there was just no-way I could ever get the job as it would be facing the general public and that could have the potential to place me at risk of assault. Next, I find a job that would be OK. As I am not prepared to go through a long application process, I go and see the manager and explain about my difficulties. He told me to send him something by email and he would reply in 24 hours. That was a week ago and still I've heard nothing!

Why do we have to put up with this? Are we not allowed to have some common courtesy even though we have a conviction?

Plus - the benefit system doesn't help. Do we really have to struggle on Universal Credit till we become pensionable age?

Secondly, due to the realisation I'm unemployable, do you feel the powers that be have you almost in total lockdown? Restrictions on almost everything put us in "Virtual Prisons." Yes we can live and move in society, but they will never let you go, always the fear of being watched so you're stuck.

Anyone else like this?

Regards

Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I can very much relate what you are feeling and going through. I think to be honest among ex offenders it is pretty much par for the course. I have three things that help me get through.
 1, I did a CBT course via the NHS. I discovered that whilst in prison and did it through health care. You sit in a booth with a computer and work through it, it may not sound much but it did help me to better understand my feelings and deal with them(and on a side note the inside psychology team didn't even know it was available). The outcome of it was that on the days when I am down I can look inside myself and recognise what is going on, knowing it is just a feeling that I am internalising helps me deal with it and put it in proportion, for example, monday feeling good, tuesday feeling crap. What has changed in the real world from monday to tuesday? nothing except the way I am feeling so I can then better deal with that.
2nd I am very fortunate to have found a very understanding and loving partner (well actually she found me and she already knew what had happened) Moral of that tale is "Not every body out there is a judgemental as**le . She supports me a lot and I dont care what other peoples opinion is, thats their problem.
3rd I have a job working for myself, It has nothing in common with my previous vocation of 30 years, and I never imagined myself doing what I do now. Ok it doesn't pay a lot of money but it gives me a livable income, some self respect and keeps me off benefits. best of it is after working for a well paying but high pressure company for many years I am loving being my own boss. The trick is thinking up something you can do. I first thought that sounded impossible as I was far too set in  my ways but I did come up with something and surprised myself when I did. it is always worth some thought. I hope you can get an idea.
AB2014 I thought you was a young un !! dont know where I got that from, sounds like you and me are "of the same age " almost over the hill but refusing to go :-)
Chris


Probably ageism, because I have plenty to say for myself so I must be a youngster...? Wink Just to be clear, the 2014 part isn't my year of birth! BigGrin I only have another 9 years on UC before I can claim a pension. Sad
CC
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Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM
Hi all,

Was wondering how you all cope with your emotions? One day everything appears OK and I'm able to cope, the next I get depressed. To give some examples, only yesterday I was looking online for a job (why I don't know, as I'm unemployable) and I saw one or two "potential" jobs. However, the realisation dawned that there was just no-way I could ever get the job as it would be facing the general public and that could have the potential to place me at risk of assault. Next, I find a job that would be OK. As I am not prepared to go through a long application process, I go and see the manager and explain about my difficulties. He told me to send him something by email and he would reply in 24 hours. That was a week ago and still I've heard nothing!

Why do we have to put up with this? Are we not allowed to have some common courtesy even though we have a conviction?

Plus - the benefit system doesn't help. Do we really have to struggle on Universal Credit till we become pensionable age?

Secondly, due to the realisation I'm unemployable, do you feel the powers that be have you almost in total lockdown? Restrictions on almost everything put us in "Virtual Prisons." Yes we can live and move in society, but they will never let you go, always the fear of being watched so you're stuck.

Anyone else like this?

Regards

Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I can very much relate what you are feeling and going through. I think to be honest among ex offenders it is pretty much par for the course. I have three things that help me get through.
 1, I did a CBT course via the NHS. I discovered that whilst in prison and did it through health care. You sit in a booth with a computer and work through it, it may not sound much but it did help me to better understand my feelings and deal with them(and on a side note the inside psychology team didn't even know it was available). The outcome of it was that on the days when I am down I can look inside myself and recognise what is going on, knowing it is just a feeling that I am internalising helps me deal with it and put it in proportion, for example, monday feeling good, tuesday feeling crap. What has changed in the real world from monday to tuesday? nothing except the way I am feeling so I can then better deal with that.
2nd I am very fortunate to have found a very understanding and loving partner (well actually she found me and she already knew what had happened) Moral of that tale is "Not every body out there is a judgemental as**le . She supports me a lot and I dont care what other peoples opinion is, thats their problem.
3rd I have a job working for myself, It has nothing in common with my previous vocation of 30 years, and I never imagined myself doing what I do now. Ok it doesn't pay a lot of money but it gives me a livable income, some self respect and keeps me off benefits. best of it is after working for a well paying but high pressure company for many years I am loving being my own boss. The trick is thinking up something you can do. I first thought that sounded impossible as I was far too set in  my ways but I did come up with something and surprised myself when I did. it is always worth some thought. I hope you can get an idea.
AB2014 I thought you was a young un !! dont know where I got that from, sounds like you and me are "of the same age " almost over the hill but refusing to go :-)
Chris


Edited
6 Months Ago by CC
Jonathan61
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AB2014 - 21 Feb 19 11:02 AM
Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM
Hi all,

Was wondering how you all cope with your emotions? One day everything appears OK and I'm able to cope, the next I get depressed. To give some examples, only yesterday I was looking online for a job (why I don't know, as I'm unemployable) and I saw one or two "potential" jobs. However, the realisation dawned that there was just no-way I could ever get the job as it would be facing the general public and that could have the potential to place me at risk of assault. Next, I find a job that would be OK. As I am not prepared to go through a long application process, I go and see the manager and explain about my difficulties. He told me to send him something by email and he would reply in 24 hours. That was a week ago and still I've heard nothing!

Why do we have to put up with this? Are we not allowed to have some common courtesy even though we have a conviction?

Plus - the benefit system doesn't help. Do we really have to struggle on Universal Credit till we become pensionable age?

Secondly, due to the realisation I'm unemployable, do you feel the powers that be have you almost in total lockdown? Restrictions on almost everything put us in "Virtual Prisons." Yes we can live and move in society, but they will never let you go, always the fear of being watched so you're stuck.

Anyone else like this?

Regards

Jonathan

Well, there's a long road ahead, but some people are waking up and smelling the coffee. Of course, any change is years away, but it has to start somewhere. Finding a job will be difficult at best, but being aware of that can help. Just remember the prayer:

Grant me the strength to change the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I can't change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

It sounds flippant, but it's still useful advice. I've only worked for 3 months since I was released in October 2014, and the prospects are not encouraging. My convictions will never be spent, so I'm stuck with them, but not every employer asks the question. Some days I find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, but on others I'm fine. I don't feel I'm being watched - ironically, when I was in a hostel just after prison I was under surveillance and I actually caught the idiot carrying out the supposedly covert surveillance. Nowadays nobody bothers.

There are jobs that don't face the public, but in my case it's my age that works against me - my CV makes it clear I'm over 21, so I'm too expensive for minimum wage jobs. For other jobs, it seems my grey hair is off-putting, and when they say they're happy to employ older people, they're just saying that to cover themselves for when they reject me because of my age. They must think I'm as stupid as they are....

I believe that in some parts of the US, if not all, they recognise that people can be unemployable because of their criminal record and put them on a more generous benefit, as an alternative to being destitute, homeless and starving.

I've had 50 years of undiagnosd health problems until 7 years ago, which has meant I could never get or cope with a full-time job when I left school. I have little of a work record excpet for small part-time jobs. I have no CV to talk of and since 2002 I have a conviction. I'd find it very difficult to move away from the area I grew up due to my mental health... so my prospects are little above zero. Then you have to fight the DWP who now say I am fit for work, when for the ast 8 years they've said I wasn't and nothing has or will ever change in my life.

And you wonder why I get depressed and feel a virtual prisoner!!

I do feel there needs to be a forum for people with convictions where we can go on a daily basis and chat to other in the same situation where we can support each other to get through difficulties.

AB2014
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Jonathan61 - 21 Feb 19 10:42 AM
Hi all,

Was wondering how you all cope with your emotions? One day everything appears OK and I'm able to cope, the next I get depressed. To give some examples, only yesterday I was looking online for a job (why I don't know, as I'm unemployable) and I saw one or two "potential" jobs. However, the realisation dawned that there was just no-way I could ever get the job as it would be facing the general public and that could have the potential to place me at risk of assault. Next, I find a job that would be OK. As I am not prepared to go through a long application process, I go and see the manager and explain about my difficulties. He told me to send him something by email and he would reply in 24 hours. That was a week ago and still I've heard nothing!

Why do we have to put up with this? Are we not allowed to have some common courtesy even though we have a conviction?

Plus - the benefit system doesn't help. Do we really have to struggle on Universal Credit till we become pensionable age?

Secondly, due to the realisation I'm unemployable, do you feel the powers that be have you almost in total lockdown? Restrictions on almost everything put us in "Virtual Prisons." Yes we can live and move in society, but they will never let you go, always the fear of being watched so you're stuck.

Anyone else like this?

Regards

Jonathan

Well, there's a long road ahead, but some people are waking up and smelling the coffee. Of course, any change is years away, but it has to start somewhere. Finding a job will be difficult at best, but being aware of that can help. Just remember the prayer:

Grant me the strength to change the things I can change, the serenity to accept the things I can't change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

It sounds flippant, but it's still useful advice. I've only worked for 3 months since I was released in October 2014, and the prospects are not encouraging. My convictions will never be spent, so I'm stuck with them, but not every employer asks the question. Some days I find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, but on others I'm fine. I don't feel I'm being watched - ironically, when I was in a hostel just after prison I was under surveillance and I actually caught the idiot carrying out the supposedly covert surveillance. Nowadays nobody bothers.

There are jobs that don't face the public, but in my case it's my age that works against me - my CV makes it clear I'm over 21, so I'm too expensive for minimum wage jobs. For other jobs, it seems my grey hair is off-putting, and when they say they're happy to employ older people, they're just saying that to cover themselves for when they reject me because of my age. They must think I'm as stupid as they are....

I believe that in some parts of the US, if not all, they recognise that people can be unemployable because of their criminal record and put them on a more generous benefit, as an alternative to being destitute, homeless and starving.
Jonathan61
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Hi all,

Was wondering how you all cope with your emotions? One day everything appears OK and I'm able to cope, the next I get depressed. To give some examples, only yesterday I was looking online for a job (why I don't know, as I'm unemployable) and I saw one or two "potential" jobs. However, the realisation dawned that there was just no-way I could ever get the job as it would be facing the general public and that could have the potential to place me at risk of assault. Next, I find a job that would be OK. As I am not prepared to go through a long application process, I go and see the manager and explain about my difficulties. He told me to send him something by email and he would reply in 24 hours. That was a week ago and still I've heard nothing!

Why do we have to put up with this? Are we not allowed to have some common courtesy even though we have a conviction?

Plus - the benefit system doesn't help. Do we really have to struggle on Universal Credit till we become pensionable age?

Secondly, due to the realisation I'm unemployable, do you feel the powers that be have you almost in total lockdown? Restrictions on almost everything put us in "Virtual Prisons." Yes we can live and move in society, but they will never let you go, always the fear of being watched so you're stuck.

Anyone else like this?

Regards

Jonathan

GO


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