Monthly summary – March 2017

Welcome to our monthly summary for March 2017.

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. discussions on our online forum
  4. 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. 

Criminal record checks for employment

  • Establishing what level of check an employer carry out – We’ve updated this page to include details of the eligibility tool which has been introduced online by the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • Latest news from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – We’ve put together an advice post setting out changes the DBS are planning to introduce over the next 12 months which might be important to people with convictions.

Disclosing criminal records to employers

  • Moving on: Disclosing criminal records to prospective employers – when and how? – We’ve written an article for Inside Time’s ‘Through the Gate’ section which focuses on disclosing convictions to prospective employers if you’re about to leave prison.

Specific offences

  • Motoring offences – We’ve introduced a landing page which brings together our information, advice, resources and useful links relating specifically to motoring offences.

Travel

  • Travelling to the UK – We’ve updated this page to reflect the recent extension of criminal record certificates for Tier 2 (General) visa applicants (i.e. those working in education, health and social care sectors and their adult dependants).
  • Travelling to Canada – As a result of the number of enquiries our helpline has received regarding the Canadian eTA process, we’ve produced some additional information on how to answer the questions relating to criminal records.

Courts and sentencing

  • Criminal legal aid/contributions to legal aid – If you’re found guilty at Court, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) can ask you to agree to pay all your legal fees by way of a Capital Contribution Order. This updated information sets out how the LAA can put a charge on your house to recoup this money.

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.

Success – ‘Be prepared – Facing up to my past and volunteering as a Scout Leader’  – ‘Almost 20 years ago, I received two convictions; one for criminal damage and one for carrying an offensive weapon in a public place. This sounds absolutely terrible but, if I explain, you might get a better understanding of what happened   ….’

Struggles and stigma – I’m hoping that the law doesn’t destroy my future – Pushing for changes to the filtering process – ‘In support of your current campaign in the Supreme Court this February, I would like to describe my case which is an example of how the law for individuals with more than one conviction falls foul of expectations when it comes to human rights and what’s fair ….’

SuccessA city of possibilities – Living and working in Singapore with a criminal record – ‘I’m 40 years old and most people that know me would consider me to be a ‘pillar of the community’. However, this hasn’t always been the case and, as a young man, I received several cautions and also had a short stay in a Young Offenders Institution ….’

Discussions on our online forum

Below are links to recent posts to our online forum. If you’d like to join in the discussion but are not currently a forum member, find out how you can join here.

Applying to university – Btur was interested to hear from anybody who has experience of applying to university with a criminal record. Has anybody been through the process and got any information they can share?

Coping with being marginalisedCan anybody help P? He’s looking for information and advice to help him to deal with other people’s reactions to his conviction and to move on with his life.

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.

Has an employer wrongly checked your official criminal record?

As part of our Fair Access to Employment project, we’re asking individuals to contact us if they are able to provide examples of employer’s who have carried out inappropriate levels of criminal record checks. Details of the information we’re looking for can be found here.

Should employer’s ask about convictions on their application forms? Unlock discusses with Three Counties Radio

Christopher Staey talked to Three Counties Radio about whether employers should be discouraged from asking about convictions at the application stage, allowing applicants to be judged on their skills and abilitiies first.

Watch our oral evidence to the Justice Committee inquiry into the disclosure of youth criminal records

On the 15th March, Christopher Stacey gave evidence to the Justice Committee inquiry into the disclosure of youth criminal records. Watch the session here.

Your finances in and out of prison – BBC Radio 4 Money Box live

Christopher Stacey took part in a special Money Box phone in about the financial advice you can expect to receive on release from prison and what businesses can do to get ex-offenders back into employment.

Debbie Sadler