Monthly summary – March 2020

Welcome to our monthly summary for March 2020.

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 stumbled across this? You can receive these updates 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 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. There are also links next to many of the updates, which links to threads on our online forum where you can discuss these with other people.

Work and volunteering

  • Types of criminal record checks – We’ve updated this page to include details of the number of criminal record checks carried out each year and the percentage of checks which disclose some type of information relating to cautions/convictions.
  • The Ministry of Justice are piloting a new ‘disclosure checker’ and want your feedback – We’ve provided links to the new MOJ disclosure checker and would encourage as many people as possible to provide their feedback.

About criminal records

  • Sex offence notification requirements – We’ve added a new section to this page on what you can do if your request to have your indefinite notification requirement revoked is refused by the police.

theRecord posts

Below are links to recent posts on our online magazine, theRecord. These are often linked to the practical information that we have to help give some personal experiences.

SuccessI’ve been fortunate that my stupidity hasn’t been held against me“I left home at the age of 16 and for the next two years stayed with one of my best mates and his family. By the time I was 18 I was holding down a job and had managed to rent my own home. I had some good mates and every now and again I did what every 18 year old does, I met up with friends, had a few too many drinks and got drunk …..”

Struggles and stigmaShould my past forever define who I am?“Back in 2011 as a 21 year old man I got into an illegal and immoral “relationship” (I use the quotes because I now see that relationship isn’t the right word for this) with a child aged 13. You might ask why? You might ask how? – none of that matters because the fact is I was guilty …..”

SuccessI thought “offenders” were different to me until my friend received a criminal record“I’ve been running my own hairdressing business for approximately 25 years now and, I’m happy to say that it’s very successful. I’m based in a town which is close to a men’s open prison and over the years several men have been in touch with me asking whether I have any vacancies for paid work …..”

NewsNeed some support in these testing times? Why not join Unlock’s online forum“As a way of tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has been challenged to undertake self-isolation and social distancing. Although we all appreciate why it’s so important to reduce the spread of the infection, for many this will be a particularly stressful and isolating time …..”

Discussions on our online forum

Below are links to recent posts on 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.

Volunteering in Coronavirus outbreak! – JASB has highlighted some of the problems that people with a criminal record may come up against if they’re interested in signing up for volunteering opportunities. Tell us about your experiences, both positive and negative.

Sites that repurpose criminal conviction information and GDPR – Zack is interested to know whether sites which use details of an individual’s criminal record to create ‘databases’ could be stopped by using GDPR legislation. Let us know your thoughts.

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.

Job vacancy – Fundraising Manager – Trusts and Foundations (part-time)

We’re looking for a professional fundraiser with a strong track record of grant income generation to join our small and friendly team in Maidstone.

Our response to Covid-19

In response to government advice on Covid-19, we made the decision to close the Unlock office on 17 March. We will be working from home and you can still get in touch with us in the usual way.

Northern Ireland makes changes to the disclosure of conviction and cautions in response to Supreme Court ruling

The Department of Justice in Northern Ireland has announced that it was making changes to what is disclosed on standard and enhanced criminal record checks, in response to the Supreme Court ruling in January 2010. Read more about this and what you can do to push for change in England and Wales.

Unlock’s guest post for the Cabinet Office’s Life Changes blog

Unlock has contributed a guest post on the government’s Going Forward into Employment blog. Read it here.

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Debbie Sadler