Monthly summary – September 2020

Welcome to our monthly summary for September 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 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 the updates that we’ve made to the information hub. There are links within each update to where you can find more information.

Work and volunteering

  • A-Z of job roles and their eligibility for basic, standard and enhanced criminal record checks – We’ve updated some of the information on this page and set out the job roles in an easy to navigate spreadsheet.
  • Moving on: Criminal record checks for employment – We’ve written a further article for InsideTime providing information on the type of criminal record checks employers carry out and what’s disclosed on them.

theRecord posts

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

SuccessI’m following a different path but looking forward to the journey – accepted to study at university“I don’t think I’m a bad person but I’ve definitely made some bad choices. Unfortunately, it was one of these which led to a conviction for assault and a 12-month suspended prison sentence. I acted without thinking and will always regret what I did but I can’t change that now …..”

Struggles and stigmaGoogle, “Do the right thing” – don’t take my spent conviction into account when making recruitment decisions“I’ll start my ‘story’ back in 2017 when I was a serving police officer, a role I enjoyed and took great pride in. That year, whilst on holiday in Germany with my then partner, she reported me to the local German police following a domestic incident. It took the German police approximately 18 months to consider my case at which time I was given the option to attend a court hearing in Germany or pay a fine …..”

Success“Computer says no” – appealing the disclosure of my spent conviction“Nine years ago I entered a guilty plea for the possession of indecent images and was sentenced to a 3 year community order, an SOR notification requirement for 5 years and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 15 years. I complied with all the requirements expected of me and last year the police supported my application to the court to reduce the length of my SOPO to 5 years …..”

Discussions on our online forum

Below are links to recent posts on our online forum. If you’d like to join the discussion but are not currently a forum member, find out how you can join here.

Is this a small step forward? Disclosure amendments – looking forward to hearing what will be ….. – JASB has started a discussion around the government’s White Paper, ‘A smarter approach to sentencing’. This sets out the government’s proposals for changes to sentencing and release from prison in England and Wales. Let us have your thoughts on the proposed changes.

The dreaded “can we have a chat” – Square has posted details of a recent experience at work when, following a call from an anonymous ‘whistleblower’, his spent conviction was disclosed to his HR director. Has anybody else had similar experiences?

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.

Introducing two new team members

In September Unlock welcomed two new colleagues to the team; Sam Doohan – our first policy officer and Ruth Davies – our first digital and communications manager.

Unlock’s response to Ministry of Justice plans to make reforms to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Following the announcement that the Ministry of Justice was planning to make changes to the ROA and the disclosure of criminal records, Christopher Stacey, Unlock’s co-director has commented on these changes and highlighted the continuing need for a root-and-branch review of the criminal records regime.

Better advice and information could increase employers’ confidence in hiring people convicted of sexual offences

Unlock has published a report with the Prison Reform Trust, Thinking Differently, exploring employers’ attitudes towards hiring people convicted of sexual offences. Read more and download the report here.

Open letter to Ministers Victoria Atkins and Chris Philp

After learning that the timetable for implementing changes to the filtering system are likely to be delayed for several months due to the DBS needing more time to prepare their systems, Unlock, together with Liberty and Just for Kids Law have written to the ministers responsible. Read the letter here.

Scottish Government reforms criminal record disclosure

We’ve set out details of the reforms made by the Scottish Government to their criminal records regime.

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Debbie Sadler