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“You’re fired!” – Losing my job after my spent conviction came to light due to my own honesty

A core aim of any criminal justice system must surely be to stop people re-offending. We know that getting people back into work helps with this. However, as Phil’s story shows, employers are not always so open to taking people on once they know that they have

A life sentence can sometimes be just the beginning of a new life

Oscar was released from prison in 2001 having served 10 years of a life sentence. In his opinion, the increase in criminal record checks and the fact that employers have become a lot more risk averse over recent years means that it’s a lot harder to find

Employment embargo – Why does the prison think employers are ‘unsuitable’ and refuse to let me work?

Having worked his way through the prison system, Mo is struggling to understand why the prison service continues to refuse him permission to work for certain employers without explaining their reasons why.    During the time I’ve spent in prison, I’ve had a variety of ‘jobs’ –

Thanks to the police I’m able to pick my grandson up from school – Getting my SOPO discharged

It’s fair to say that the UK has some of the toughest restrictions on people convicted of sexual offences. Conditions included in SOPOs can be very restrictive and can have a huge impact on an individual’s ability to move on. However as Colin explains, his local police

Is ‘sealing’ criminal records the best way to help people turn their lives around?

Following David Lammy’s review of disproportionality in the criminal justice system, the spotlight is rightly on how to address the embedded inequalities and discriminatory practices that are driving the over-representation of black and minority ethnic groups. As part of this though, he has recognised the broader significant

I couldn’t let a caution for ABH hold me back – Getting a job in the NHS

As one of the biggest employers in the UK, it’s always disappointing when we hear how risk averse the NHS can be. Teresa’s experience has been far more positive and the introduction of the NHS Liaison and Diversion department will hopefully mean that in terms of being

Overcoming my lack of confidence to get my dream job – working as a teaching assistant

One of the consequences of receiving a criminal record can be the impact it has on your self-confidence. Fiona’s story highlights how, until it was filtered, her caution impacted on her applying for her dream job.     Ever since I can remember I have loved teaching,

Struggling to find work with a life licence

Despite his conviction being almost 20 years ago, Ed explains how employers still judge him on the person he was then and not the person he is now.     In 1999 I was tried and convicted of murder. I had never been in trouble before and

Getting permission from probation to return overseas to my husband and family

We’re always encouraging people to try and build good relationships with their probation officer, however difficult this can sometimes be. Rosie explains the assistance she was given by her probation officer and the benefits of seeking peer advice, in this case from the Unlock forum. To say

Banking on a new start – advice on opening a bank account with a criminal record

Having recently opened a basic bank account, Eric sets out some tips to guide others through the process.       For anybody that’s ever been to prison, you’ll know that all the time you’re there you lose all sense of personal identity and become a number