Monthly summary – May 2016

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Welcome to our monthly summary for May 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 Information Hub. There are links within each update to where you can find more information about the update on our Hub. 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 members of the forum.

Information on the internet, online and through search engines like Google

  • Having internet search results removed – As a result of the number of enquiries our helpline receives from people seeking assistance in making applications to Google and other search engines, we’ve produced a new search engine removal request template which can be used when making requests to Google to have search results removed.

Work and volunteering

  • Working abroad and the use of Police Certificates – This advice post looks at the way that Police Certificates are used when applying for work abroad and the importance of being clear about the entry/work visa requirements which are needed for the country you wish to move to.

Finance

  • Benefits – We’ve updated our information to include a section on national insurance contributions and contribution based benefits while you’re in prison.

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.

SuccessesMoving on with fire in my belly‘Back in June last year, after almost nine years in prison, I finally made it to open conditions. Wow, at long last, I could start to imagine a life for myself away from prison. Soon after arriving at my new abode, I met with my offender supervisor who told me that In order to complete one final piece of offending behaviour work, I needed to attend a series of meetings with the local Fire Service. She didn’t expand on this and foolishly, I expected it to be a bit like one of those fire talks you get when you’re at school….’

Struggles and StigmaWhy can’t my childhood mistakes be left in the past? ‘Like many teenagers, I suffered at the hands of the school bully and like many teenagers, the day came when I finally decided that enough was enough and retaliated. The result was a fight in the school playground when I was 15 years old ….’

SuccessesUniversity is possibly – but you’ll have to fight for it ‘Access to education and training is essential for those with criminal convictions who want to move on with their lives. However, gaining an academic place on any course when you have unspent criminal convictions – especially ones of a sexual nature – makes it virtually impossible. I found this out the hard way when I applied to do a course and was twice refused a place. I did eventually manage to overturn their decision and here’s what I’ve learnt along the way…..’

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.

Criminal record disclosure training endorsed by the Probation Institute

Our criminal record disclosure training has now been endorsed by the Probation Institute meaning that we are now a Probation Institute Endorsed Learning Provider. Read Christopher Stacey’s comments on the news here.

Our approach to working with other organisations

We are seeing a rise in the number of enquiries from service-providers to our helpline which, was predominantly set up and funded to provide support for individuals themselves. We’ve recently published a document which clarifies what support we can offer organisations and how it can be accessed.

Unlock in prison!

In February 2016, we were invited to visit Wormwood Scrubs and Pentonville prisons to present workshops on criminal records and disclosure. Read more about our experiences here.

Unlock speaks on Radio Stoke on the issue of old/minor convictions

Unlock’s Christopher Stacey spoke on Radio Stoke about the continuing problem of old/minor convictions showing up on criminal record checks. The programme is available here to download.

Unlock submits evidence to the review of Youth Justice

Unlock were asked to provide a written submission to the review of Youth Justice which is being led by Charlie Taylor. Download a copy of our submission here.

Were the effects of a caution explained to you?

We’re interested in seeing copies of cautions that people have accepted in the last two years. Different police forces give different guidance and we believe that many individuals have accepted cautions without fully understanding the long-term effects. Find out how your can help.

Debbie Sadler