News and events
Westminster Outreach Team co-hosts panel discussion exploring stigmas ex-offenders face in community
Criminology 20 December 2017
The balanced panel was made up of people with and without convictions in order to make as many different views as possible heard. The event was attended by a mix of current students of Law or Criminology from both the University of Westminster and LSBU as well as academics, probation officers, prison staff, people with convictions and those working in prison reform and rehabilitation charities.
Criminology Senior Lecturer and Co-Leader of the Westminster British Convict Criminology ‘Making Links’ programme Dr Andreas Aresti and Westminster Outreach Officer Rosie Reynolds, who were both among the event’s speakers, particularly talked about the barriers those with convictions face in Higher Education.
Rosie Reynolds highlighted the support that the University of Westminster offers to applicants, the work the Westminster Outreach team currently does to engage with learners in prison and she also discussed what Higher Education institutions can do to address some of the issues in the future.
Talking about the event, Rosie said: “It was important for us to have people with convictions on the panel, it is only by listening to their experiences that we as Higher Education Institutions can understand what needs to be done to bring down barriers to education.”
Lively debates such as about the implications of disclosing or not disclosing a conviction at application stage were ensued and the discussion raised many questions as well as solutions for work that can be done to reduce barriers for ex-offenders to Higher Education.
Mark Kavanagh, Marketing Manager at the University of Westminster, said about the event: ‘’The event provided a range of perspectives and encouraged lively debate amongst the panel and audience. It was interesting to hear the views of those who have had first-hand experience of the Criminal Justice System.”
Kate Salmon, a Westminster Criminology and Sociology student, said: “I found this event incredibly thought provoking. The panel was very informed and it was interesting to hear the different perspectives on Banning the Box, especially from individuals who have first-hand experience of dealing with the label of ex-offender. It has helped inform me about the topic.”
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.