This page has details of websites and organisations that we regularly provide links to, broken down into different subject areas. This is part of our approach of signposting to others.

Our other sites

Our main site provides details about Unlock’s broader work, including other services for people with convictions, training for practitioners, support for practitioners and policy work.

Website: www.unlock.org.uk

Our online Disclosure Calculator is an easy-to-use tool that helps you to work out when your convictions become spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Website: www.disclosurecalculator.org.uk

The online forum is a space where people with convictions can provide peer support and advice to one another.

Website: forum.unlock.org.uk

theRecord is an online magazine for and by people with convictions. It shares positive stories and real life experiences of living with a criminal record.

Website: www.the-record.org.uk

Criminal record checks

The Association of Chief Police Offices (ACPO) operate the Criminal Records Office (ACRO). They are responsible for subject access requests for most police forces, as well as police certificates.

Website: www.acro.police.uk
Telephone: 0845 60 13 999 or 01962 871 111
Email: customer.services@acro.pnn.police.uk

Government body established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and merges functions previously carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

Website: www.gov.uk/dbs
Telephone: 03000 200 190
Email: customerservices@dbs.gsi.gov.uk

Government body who work to provide a more effective and transparent criminal justice system and have responsibility for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice
Telephone: 020 3334 3555
Email: general.queries@justice.gsi.gov.uk

Government body an executive body of the Scottish Government providing basic level checks in England, Wales and Scotland.

Website: www.disclosurescotland.co.uk
Telephone: 0870 609 6006
Email: info@disclosurescotland.co.uk

Employment

Can assist with claiming benefits and help getting back into employment.

Website: www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
Telephone: 0800 055 6688

The Governments main Welfare to Work Programme, delivered by a number of organisations, private companies and charities on behalf of the Government.

Website: www.gov.uk

A national programme which specifically helps people in prison and those in the community that have recently been sentenced or released from prison. You usually need to be referred onto the programme. For details of your local provider contact NOMS-CFO

Website: co-financing.org/contact_main.php
Telephone: 01925 423400
Email: CFO-Helpdesk@noms.gsi.gov.uk
Address: NOMS CFO, 1100 Daresbury Park, Daresbury, Warrington WA4 4HS

Provides careers advice and information on a wide range of jobs, training course resources and funding.

Website: www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk
Telephone: 0800 100 900

An organisation devoted to preventing and resolving employment disputes.

Website: www.acas.org.uk
Telephone: 0300 123 1100

Insurance

The ABI provides consumers with general information on insurance and savings products.

Website: www.abi.org.uk
Telephone: 0207 600 3333

BIBA assists individuals to access insurance products through it’s ‘Find a Broker’ service.

Website: www.biba.org.uk
Telephone: 0370 950 1790
Email: enquiries@biba.org.uk

The Chartered Insurance Institute investigates complaints made by individuals against people in the financial services profession.

Website: www.cii.org.uk
Telephone: 0208 989 8464
Email: customer.serv@cii.co.uk

The Financial Ombudsman is the UK’s offical expert in helping individuals to sort out problems with banks, insurance, pensions etc.

Website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Telephone: 0800 023 4567
Email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is responsible for compensating customers when their insurers have stopped trading or have no assets to pay claims made against them.

Website: www.fscs.org.uk
Telephone: 0800 678 1100

Housing

Shelter works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing by providing advice, information and advocacy to people in housing need and by campaigning for political change to end the housing crisis.

Website: england.shelter.org.uk
Telephone: Helpline 0808 800 4444

Offer a drop in housing advice service for local homeless people.

Website: www.stgilestrust.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7703 7000
Email: info@stgilestrust.org.uk
Address : 64-68 Camberwell Church Street, London SE5 8JB

Offer housing information, advice and resettlement services.

Website: www.mungos.org
Telephone: 020 8762 5500
Email: info@mungos.org
Address: Griffin House, 161 Hammersmith Road, London W6 8BS

The national charity for single homeless people, offers housing advice and assists single homeless people find rented accommodation.

Website: www.crisis.org.uk
Telephone: 0300 636 1967
Email: enquiries@crisis.org.uk
Address: 66 Commercial Street, London E1 6LT

A registered housing provider who provides homes and housing related support to people with complex needs.

Website: www.nacro.org.uk
Telephone: 0300 123 1889
Email: helpline@nacro.org.uk
Address: First Floor, 46 Loman Street, London, SE1 0EH

Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC’s) are private sector suppliers of probation services in England and Wales responsible for supervising low and mediium risk offenders. To find the details of your local CRC visit www.gov.uk.

Website: www.gov.uk

Families

Offer support for anybody with a family member who is in contact with the criminal justice system. They provide advice on all aspects from arrest to preparing for release.

Website: www.offendersfamilieshelpline.org
Telephone: 0808 808 2003
Address: 15-17 The Broadway, Hatfield, Herts AL9 5HZ

PACT is a national charity that provides support to prisoners, people with convictions and their families.

Website: www.prisonadvice.org.uk
Telephone: 0808 808 3444
Address: 29 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UA

Work with parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system.

Website: www.frg.org.uk
Telephone: 0808 801 0366
Address: 2nd Floor, The Print House, 18 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL

We have a number of links to searchable websites, specific organisations and useful resources. These are on a page in the information section of this site.

For people with sexual offences

Supporting men and women who have sexually offended to resettle into the community by finding work or managing money. Offer a range of local projects.

Website: www.circles-uk.org.uk/local-projects
Telephone: 0118 950 0068
Address: Abbey House, Abbey Square, Reading, Berkshire RG1 3BE

A child protection charity committed to reducing the risk of children being sexually abused. LFF work with adult male and female sexual abusers, young people with inappropriate sexual behaviours, victims of abuse and other family members.

Their Stop It Now Helpline gives confidential advice and support to prevent child sex abuse.

Website: www.lucyfaithfull.org
Telephone: 0808 1000 900
Email: help@stopitnow.org.uk

Resettlement services

The Clinks Directory is an online database listing hundreds of voluntary and community organisations working with offenders and their families.

Website: www.clinks.org/directory 

Resettlement Service Finder is a free online directory of resettlement services in England and Wales. It lists over 10,000 housing, education, substance misuse and other services, which are frequently updated. It aims to help ex-offenders, youth offenders, people at risk of offending, vulnerable people and the agencies that work with them.

Website: www.rsfinder.info/ 

Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC’s) are private sector suppliers of probation services in England and Wales responsible for supervising low and mediium risk offenders. To find the details of your local CRC visit www.gov.uk.

Website: www.gov.uk

Links can be found in the information section on prison.

Other organisations

Provide practical up-to-date information on a wide range of topics including benefits and housing, employment rights and discrimination and debt issues. Find your local bureau at www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Website: www.adviceguide.org.uk

The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. Also provide advice on how to protect personal information and how to gain access to official records.

Website: www.ico.org.uk
Telephone: 01625 545745

KeyRing has an e-helpline to assist people with learning disabilities or autism who are going through the criminal justice system.

Website: www.keyring.org/cjs/helpline
Telephone: 020 3119 0960

Set up by the government to provide free and impartial money advice.

Website: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Telephone: 0800 138 7777

 

Information/advice outside England & Wales

Our information/advice covers England & Wales only. We get lots of queries from people in other places, and we’re unable to give specific advice as the laws and rules are different, so the links below provide options for people in other places.

Scotland 

Government body an executive body of the Scottish Government providing basic, standard and enhanced criminal record checks. They can provide advice on Scottish-related disclosure issues.

Website: www.disclosurescotland.co.uk
Telephone: 0870 609 6006
Email: info@disclosurescotland.co.uk

An organisation which seeks to improve Scotland’s Criminal Justice System.

Website: www.positiveprison.org
Telephone: 0141 353 4312
Email: contact@positiveprison.org

Work with employers to promote safe, effective and sustainable employment for people with criminal records.

Website: www.recruitwithconviction.org.uk
Email: info@recruitwithconviction.org.uk

Northern Ireland 

Access NI is a criminal record disclosure service in Northern Ireland.

Website: www.accessni.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 200 7888
Email: accessni@ani.x.gsi.gov.uk

NIACRO is a charity based in Northern Ireland. Part of its work includes providing advice to people with convictions through a helpline.

Website: www.niacro.co.uk
Telephone: 028 9032 0157
Email: niacro@niacro.co.uk