What are these terms?

These terms set out the ‘rules’ that members should agree to abide by in order to use theForum.

Who is it for?

theForum is for law-abiding people with convictions. It’s primary function is to provide a space where information, advice and support is given and received mutually between people who are dealing with their criminal record in the community.

There are other forums for professional discussion (for example: Prisoner Action Net and the No Offence forum). Discussions specifically for families may be better directed to other forums (e.g. Prison Chat UK and Prisoners Families Voices).

Family members are welcome to contribute to theForum so long as this is done in a way that is directly linked to an issue that is being faced by an individual person with convictions for example, a question on behalf of somebody else. Such contributions must be done in a private capacity, and in a way that does not contravene any other terms set out below.

Who can take part?

Although primarily for people with criminal convictions, anybody with a criminal record can take part, so long as they agree to these terms.

For the purposes of this forum, we define someone as having “a criminal record” if they have received a conviction or some other disposal by a criminal court, or if they have received an official police caution.

Who can’t take part?

theForum is for use by private individuals acting in a personal capacity and must not be used for commercial messages or a medium for marketing or selling.

  • Those who are involved in criminal activity currently, or intend to be in the future
  • People who are innocent (or believe themselves to be)
  • People contributing in a professional capacity (e.g. criminal justice staff, journalists, researchers, students)
  • People under the age of 13.

What can’t be discussed?

  1. Crime or future criminal activity
  2. Pending prosecutions
  3. False allegations or offences you say you didn’t commit
  4. Appealing a sentence or conviction
  5. Requests for legal advice
  6. Specific details relating to an offence, conviction or circumstances leading up to it
  7. Ongoing needs, efforts or requirements to address your offending behaviour

Please note that the phrases above will be given their ordinary meaning, and this is subject to the sole discretion of Unlock

General conditions of use

  1. Use one account/identity only in theForum and do not allow others to use your password.
  2. The sharing of personal data (e.g. names, dates of birth, addresses, contact details, specific offence details etc) is not allowed.
  3. We encourage a healthy exchange of opinions and disagreements are allowed. The nature of theForum will mean that people disagree with one another and, sometimes, even dislike each other. If you do not wish to engage with people that you dislike, you should refrain from posting replies to their posts. By all means challenge an opinion – but please do it respectfully.
  4. Name calling, foul and abusive language will not be tolerated. This includes the use of offensive nicknames. Do not use theForum to harass, threaten or attack anyone.
  5. This is a UK site. Posts must be in English so that they are understood by other members.
  6. As part of Unlock’s charitable work, we may quote messages posted on theForum. When we do this, we will identify you only by your display name. We promise to be sensitive in this effort. We will not republish anything that we think could be deemed personally identifying without your consent.


  1. All members are reminded that they may be legally accountable for what they say or do online. In particular, members will be held liable for any defamatory comments, threats and untrue statements or other illegal and fraudulent claims made by them.
  2. Moderators will try to be active in removing any unsuitable material, for the benefit of all forum members. However, we cannot be held responsible for any delay in doing so. Unlock cannot guarantee the prompt editing or removal of any content.
  3. Neither Unlock nor its employees or volunteers are liable for the content of any material accessed via theForum, any adverse treatment of any information placed by a member anywhere on theForum, or any loss or damage that a member may suffer as a result.
  4. Unlock does not endorse the opinions expressed by members or moderators of theForum.
  5. theForum consists of information posted by third parties. As a result, Unlock accepts no liability in respect to the accuracy or truthfulness of any advice, information or data posted online or any responsibility for the consequences of a member acting in reliance on such information.
  6. Unlock may release personal information of members where we reasonably believe that a member has used theForum to commit unlawful acts, where required to do so by law, or where Unlock deems it appropriate in response to complaints of a substantial nature.

Terms of use conditions

  1. Unlock reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to edit or remove material from theForum at any time.
  2. Unlock reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to deny access to theForum to any specific individual at any time.
  3. If a member fails to observe the rules at any time, Unlock may temporarily suspend a member for a period of time depending on the nature and severity of the breach. This will normally be for 3 months initially, which will be reviewed on request after this date. Members who repeatedly breach these rules may be permanently excluded and their messages removed.
  4. Unlock reserves the right to change these rules at any time. Use of theForum will be taken as acceptance of these rules (as amended).
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