Monthly summary – February 2019

Welcome to our monthly summary for February 2019.

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. 

About criminal records

  • GDPR and data protection – Guidance for individuals – Following the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulations we’ve produced some new guidance which deals with the use of GDPR and the Data Protection Act for recruitment purposes and the collection and processing of criminal record data.

Coming to (and staying) in the UK

  • Applying for citizenship – We’ve added a link to an article by Freemovement on ‘Naturalising or registering as a British citizen: the good character requirement’ which sets out the behaviour which the Home Office believe indicates that a person is not “of good character”.
  • Important links and organisations – We’ve added a new section to this page with organisations that provide immigration advice.

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 – Prison to parenthood – “2018 was the strangest year I’ve known. It began in a prison cell with all the usual, well intended resolutions that this year would be different and to be fair, it has certainly been that. The year ended with me assisting self-representing fathers in the family court and launching the Prison to Parenthood project in prisons …..”

Struggles and stigma – Although my conviction can be filtered, 11 years seems a very long time to wait – “Back in 2015, I attended a colleague’s surprise 40th birthday party. I didn’t go out that often without my boyfriend and was excited to spend time with good friends and to celebrate with them. There was good wine and lots of interesting dance moves and myself and my good friend continued the night out in town after the party finished  …..”

Success – Living and working in China after asking the police to delete my cautions – “Although I’ll admit that I’d had a bit of a troubled past in my youth, I’d always felt that the four cautions I had on my criminal record shouldn’t have been there. They’d never really caused me too many problems until I tried applying for a visa to travel to China and then I realised that as far as travel was concerned, they were likely to be a huge problem …..”

Job opportunities – New ‘Opportunities’page – “We know that getting a paid or voluntary role can be really important in helping people to turn their lives around if they have a criminal record and, although it doesn’t always seem like it, there are lots of organisations that look to proactively recruit people with convictions. As part of our work to raise awareness of these opportunities, we’ve introduced a new opportunities page  …..”

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.

Depression and a ‘virtual prison’ -Jonathan61 wants to know how people cope with their emotions after receiving a criminal record and how they deal with the fact that restrictions placed on them can put them in ‘virtual prisons’. Do you have any advice you can give him?

Unlock responds to Supreme Court judgement on criminal records disclosure regime  – We’ve posted a link to our response to the Supreme Court judgement and would be interested to hear your thoughts and opinions.

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.

Press and media coverage of the Supreme Court judgement

There has been a significant amount of press and media attention on the judgement of the Supreme Court which ruled that the criminal records disclosure scheme as it applies to multiple convictions and childhood warnings/reprimands was found to be disproportionate. Find out more about the coverage and commentary pieces.

New proposals for all taxi drivers to undergo an enhanced DBS check

Unlock’s co-director, Christopher Stacey spoke on Radio 5 Live about the proposed new guidance from the Department of Transport which suggests that all taxi drivers should undergo an enhanced DBS check before being considered for a licence. You can listen to the program here.

A new video about our work

We’re pleased to be able to share a short video that explains a bit about the work Unlock does and why it’s so important to help the millions of people in this country who have a criminal record.

 

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Debbie Sadler