Aim of this page
- The primary aim of this site is to provide information and advice to people who have a criminal record themselves.
- This page looks to specifically deal with issues relating to criminal records as seen through the eyes of family members of those with convictions.
- Separately we have useful links for families with loved ones in prison.
Below you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources for families of people with convictions.
If your partner has an unspent caution/conviction and you work with children under the age of 8, you may be be deemed to be ‘Disqualified by association’. If this is the case, you’ll need to disclose your partner’s unspent caution/conviction to your employer who will require you to apply for a waiver from Ofsted before you’re able to continue working in the school/nursery.
Possibly if the family member has an unspent conviction.
If you’re looking for car insurance and your family member has been convicted of a non-motoring offence then there are several high street insurance companies that would be able to insure you as they only take motoring convictions into account. If however the conviction is for a motoring conviction you will probably need to use the services of a broker.
We are not currently aware of any insurance company that offers house insurance to people with an unspent conviction and you would usually need to use a broker to get cover. If the family member isn’t currently living with you (may be because they’re in prison) then it’s unlikely that you would need to disclose his conviction until he returns to the family home (exceptions may apply if you’re looking for building insurance and the mortgage is in their name).
When it becomes known that a person subject to the sex offence notification requirements (the sex offenders’ register) is living in the same house or, has significant contact with children, there is every likelihood that children’s services will become involved. If this is the case, then children’s services may wish to carry out a risk assessment and from that will decide how much or how little contact your partner can have with your children.
Generally, there’s nothing stopping you going on holiday whilst your partner is on the register although he/she will need to notify the police of their intention to leave the UK if you are going away for 3 days or more. Depending on where you’re travelling to, the police may issue a ‘Green Notice’ which provides a warning to overseas immigration that a known sex offender will be travelling. This will be ‘flagged’ via your partner’s passport.
It may do. Generally, anybody travelling to the US for leisure or business stays of less than 90 days will be able to travel under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP). You’ll need to establish whether he would be able to travel without a visa under the VWP or whether he’d need to apply for a visa. The decision to grant a visa will be taken on a case by case basis.
Under the ‘Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme’ (sometimes referred to a ‘Sarah’s Law’) you could ask for disclosure of any convictions your partner has had for child sex offences. The police may also chose to disclose information about any risk your partner may pose to children, for example if he’s been convicted of serious domestic violence.
Some police areas have specific domestic violence disclosure schemes (‘Clare’s Law) where you can check whether a new or existing partner has a violent past.
Generally you wouldn’t need to disclose your partner’s conviction to your employer unless you work with children under the age of 8 in a primary school or nursery where you may be ‘disqualified by association’ as a result of your partners conviction. If your work involves you having an enhanced DBS check and you believe that the police will disclose your partner’s conviction under the ‘additional/approved information’ section, you may wish to disclose in advance.
Not necessarily. If you’re looking to get a mortgage, most lenders will ask about unspent convictions and will make a decision on whether to offer you a mortgage on a case by case basis. As far as rental properties go, not all private landlords ask about criminal records and very few do formal criminal record checks. Whether you are applying to rent privately or applying for council housing, you only need to disclose unspent convictions if you’re asked.
Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites for families with loved ones in prison. Further contact details for the organisations listed below can be found here.
- Offenders Families Helpline – Offer support for anybody with a family member who is in contact with the criminal justice system. They provide advice on all aspects from arrest to preparing for release
- Partners of Prisoners (POPS) – Provide support services to families through all stages of the Criminal Justice System from arrest to resettlement.
- Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) – PACT is a national charity that provides support to prisoners, people with convictions and their families.
- Family Rights Group – Work with parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system.
Read personal stories
The personal stories below have been posted on theRecord, our online magazine, and are about the experiences of family members. Got a story you’d like to share anonymously? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more.