In 2016/17, our information site received over 1.3 million visitors and we expect that number to increase again in 2017/18. This site is the country’s most comprehensive source of online self-help information on dealing with the effects of criminal records.
However, currently it’s subject led; that is, users select a subject area to search on for information, for example employment, travel, insurance etc.
We’re constantly looking at ways to improve the site and, based on feedback we’ve had from users of the site, and the calls we get to our helpline, we think that the subject-led approach means that some people may be unaware of some important issues that may affect them. For example, somebody looking for information on disclosing an unspent conviction to an employer may not be aware that they’ll also need to disclose it to their home insurance company to make sure that they have adequate cover – in effect, ‘people don’t know what they don’t know!’
So, we’ve identified seven stages of a criminal record when specific information on the consequences of a caution or conviction is relevant. We’ve started by developing two sections: if you’ve just received a caution and if your conviction is spent.
When we’re finished, we plan to have 7 stages:
- If you’ve just received a caution – We’re looking for feedback on this
- If you’ve just received a conviction – We’re looking for feedback on this
- If you’re leaving prison – We’re looking for feedback on this
- If you’re on probation – We’re looking for feedback on this
- If you’ve got an unspent conviction – We’re looking for feedback on this
- If your conviction is spent – We’re looking for feedback on this
- If your caution/conviction is filtered – We’re looking for feedback on this
We hope that alongside the site’s existing structure, individuals will be able to identify their ‘stage’ of the journey and then, using the approach simple facts broken down by topic (with links to more information), find out what they need to know.
We’ve initially developed two stages (highlighted above) which we’re keen to test with users before finalising the others and publishing them all.
We’d like as many people as possible to try out the stages and let us have their feedback. This can either be emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing our feedback form (which is anonymous).
Many thanks for your help, we look forward to receiving your comments.