Hi; this is for the OP on ex offenders being discriminated against when finding employment.
I don't know what area you are in; but what I can tell you is that where I work; there are a few guys who have criminal records and people are open about it.
If for example your case or conviction has appeared in the press; which by the way is unfortunate but it is legal to print and is in the public interest, the best route to take is to be up-front because your employer can google, right.
Depending on what you have been convicted for; some jobs will not be classed as suitable and a DBS/CRB will flag up your convictions. For example, if you have multiple driving convictions, a driving job may be hard to find. Not impossible, but you see my point? Perhaps that is classed as discrimination but I can tell you this; you don't have to have been in prison these days to be discriminated against! People who are overweight are discriminated against and so are those with disabilities to name a but a few.
You say you would like to work with ex-offenders? There are quite a lot of job agencies around who specifically employ and support ex offenders.
I don't know your circumstances but my case was in the newspaper and to be looked upon as trustworthy I was up front with my employer because my conviction was and still is in the public domain. That's the consequences of my actions and I don't want to sound patronising but that's life.
There are quite a lot of volunteer agencies that take on ex-offenders. Perhaps the blog admin can post some? But good luck and do not let it get you down. Keep going and keep trying. I got a few knock-backs but found something in the end. Best wishes to you from James. (EX OFFENDER)