While the significance of employment to desistance - the cessation of offending or antisocial behaviour - is well established, there are multifarious obstacles to people with convictions accessing and sustaining work. Social enterprise and cooperative structures of employment can circumnavigate some of the systemic obstacles to employment, such as criminal records and employer discrimination that people routinely encounter. Yet, not only are such structures providing paid work a rarity in the UK justice system, their potential has hardly been explored.

This programme brought together international, multi-disciplinary academic and industry leaders in the respective fields of social cooperatives, social enterprise and the social economy; community justice, social work and public health; and economic sociology, criminology, governance and public policy to inform the development of social enterprise and cooperative structures of employment in both work generation and integration for people involved in the justice system, by sharing international research evidence and policy and practice expertise across academic and professional disciplines that have heretofore developed separately. The programme's events, each building on the last, explored how such structures can be developed and to what effect.

Programme Team

Dr Beth Weaver, University of Strathclyde 

Professor Stephen Osborne, University of Edinburgh

Dr Michael Roy, Glasgow Caledonian University 

Sarah Soppitt, Northumbria University 

Elizabeth Docherty, Glasgow Social Enterprise Network

Paul Morris, Glasgow City Council

Thomas Jackson, Community Justice, Glasgow

Jayne Chappell, Social Firms Scotland

Pauline Graham, Social Firms Scotland