Monthly summary – June 2016

Welcome to our monthly summary for June 2016.

This provides a summary of:

  1. the latest updates to our self-help information site for people with convictions
  2. recent posts to our online magazine, theRecord
  3. other news and developments that might be of interest to people with a criminal record

Have you just stumbled across this? You can receive these updates direct to your inbox every month for free by signing up to our mailing list (make sure you choose to receive ‘news for people with convictions’)


Updates to our information site

Here’s a summary of the updates that we’ve made recently to the theInformationHub. There are links within each update to where you can find more information about the update. There are also links next to many of the updates, which link to threads on our online forum where you can discuss these with other people with convictions. 

Work and volunteering

  • Getting a reference from a previous employer – We’ve published some new information which sets out the legal obligations a previous employer has when providing a reference and what, if anything, they are able to disclose about an individual’s criminal record to their new employer.
  • What’s the best way of approaching a panel interview if you have a criminal record – Following recent enquiries to our helpline, this advice post looks at things to consider if you’re asked to disclose your criminal record at a panel interview.

theRecord posts

Below are links to recent posts to our online magazine, theRecord. These are often linked to from the practical information that we have, to help give some personal experiences.

SuccessGoing straight and loving it ‘I spent about 20 years of my life abusing drugs and grafting to pay for them (you name it, shoplifting, card fraud, car crime etc). I didn’t consider doing anything else, it was just a way of life for me………’

SuccessFunctioning on a daily basis with a sexual offences order ‘I hear so many stories about the difficulties that people encounter trying to live with Sexual Offences Prevention Orders and Sexual Harm Prevention Orders. If you’ve just been given a SOPO/SHPO and are struggling to see how you’re ever going to be able to live a normal life again, then here are some of my own experiences and opinions’.

SuccessFrom brothel to boardroom ‘I would generally describe myself as a clever woman. I’ve had a good education. I’ve had some really good, well paid jobs. I’ve travelled the world. My social skills are fine and I’ve got a wide circle of friends. However, I’m not the smart a**e you might think I am. I have an Achilles heel – men ……’

Other news and developments

Below are links to other news and developments that might be of interest to people with a criminal record. For more news, check out the news and media section of our main website.

We must encourage and support employers to recruit people from prison

Although Unlock welcomes the government’s announcement last month to reform prisons and improve prisoner education, we believe that much more still needs to be done to encourage and support employers to recruit people with a criminal record. Read Christopher Stacey’s views on the importance of changing employer attitudes.

Insurers are not following good practice when dealing with criminal records

Last month the Financial Conduct Authority published a paper on access to financial services. Download the paper which includes contributions made by Unlock.

From inmates to entrepreneurs

Following a survey undertaken by Unlock and the Centre for Entrepreneurs, 158 people with convictions in the community responded. Read CfE’s full research here.

Comment by Unlock on an article in The Independent – “We should encourage more employers to do the same”

As a result of an article published in The Independent, Unlock defended a Tower Hamlets school employing a convicted killer and called on more employers to hire ex-criminals who have become positive members of society. Download the original article and read Christopher Stacey’s comments here.

Ever been to prison? What support did you get applying for benefits, finding work and returning to normal life?

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee asked Unlock to assist them to collect evidence for an inquiry into the support given to individuals prior to leaving prison. Details of how to contribute to the survey can be found here.

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Debbie Sadler