We’re disappointed to announce that this morning we’ve received notification from the Government that the changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, due to come into force in Spring 2013, have been delayed. The Ministry of Justice provided us with the following:
“As you know, the commencement of the reforms are dependent on the necessary system changes being in place so that basic disclosure certificates for England and Wales will reflect the new rehabilitation periods. We had been aiming to commence the reforms by April 2013, however, it will not be possible to achieve the necessary system changes by that date and we are now looking at commencement in November.”
We know from the hundreds of enquiries we’ve had from people with convictions over the last couple of months how critical these reforms are; they will have a significant and positive difference on thousands of people who struggle to move on with their lives.
We continue to urge the government to introduce the reforms as soon as possible, and we encourage anybody who is affected by these delays to write to their MP and ask for their support in helping to speed up the process. However, it has been made clear to us that Ministers remain keen to introduce the reforms, and that the reasons behind the delay lay at a technical/operational level. More information about the changes to the ROA are available here.