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Forgiveness won’t change the past but it has improved my future – why I wasn’t added to the DBS barred list

They say it takes a strong person to say sorry, and an even stronger person to forgive. That’s certainly true in the case of Kostas and his family.   Prior to my conviction in 2002, I was a law-abiding citizen with an impeccable record. I’d been in

The inconsistencies of travelling when you have a sexual offence

Individuals convicted of sexual offences often have to deal with other people’s discriminatory and judgemental behaviour and it’s easy to believe that this is how they will be treated by everyone. Bruno’s story demonstrates the very different attitudes of staff working for the immigration authorities.   I

What’s the point of having a policy if an employer doesn’t bother to follow it?

Miski applied to a large, well-known employer and believed they would follow their published policy on recruiting people with criminal records. Here we look at how this employer approached asking, assessing and adhering to their own policy.   A couple of years ago I applied for a

Volunteers Week 2019 – A shout out to Unlock’s volunteers

Volunteer Week is celebrated between 1st and 7th June every year. It’s a week in which the UK celebrates volunteers and says thank you to them for the contribution they make. The week hopefully also raises awareness of the benefits of volunteering. As well as helping others,

My life behind bars – from prisoner to bar owner

David Gauke has made it clear that he doesn’t believe that prison sentences of less than 12 months rehabilitate individuals and should only be used as a last resort. Malcolm is certain that despite having served lots of short sentences, he only started to turn his life

The difficulty trying to rehabilitate and reintegrate miles from home.

Edward was apprehensive about having to go to an Approved Premises, also known as a ‘hostel’. What he’d read about them had been far from encouraging but in Edward’s case, the hostel was also a long way from home making it difficult to re-build his relationship with

My caution is still showing on my check but so far it’s not held me back

Due to the nature of her offence, Jazmin’s caution for affray isn’t currently eligible for filtering. Although it hasn’t stopped her from achieving her goal to be a teacher, she does still find it difficult to talk about her experience and the circumstances surrounding her caution.   

Home sweet home – successfully appealing a Council’s decision to take a spent conviction into account

Laura couldn’t understand how her son could be removed from the Council’s housing list after accidentally disclosing his spent convictions. However, the lack of understanding around spent/unspent convictions by Council staff surprised her even more.   My son Roman was aged 22 when he applied for and

Thanks Unlock for being part of my journey – volunteering as a helpline advisor

Having met a member of the Unlock team during a Disclosure Workshop in prison, Reece was delighted to be able to continue this association when he secured a voluntary role as a helpline advisor.   It was early 2018 and I was nearing the end of my

Is it too much to expect a life without stigma following a criminal record?

Despite serving his 6-month custodial sentence, Alistair feels that the prejudice and stigma he continues to experience will be a life sentence.   Prior to finding myself on the wrong side of the law, I was a highly skilled, tax-paying member of society. On release from prison

Disclosing convictions received during my employment

After receiving two convictions in a short space of time, Deena was anxious about having to explain them to her current employer. Having been employed for 5 years, she didn’t for one minute consider not disclosing and in this case, the result was positive. I’d worked for

Has ‘Ban the Box’ turned a job interview into another courtroom?

Many people with an unspent conviction will welcome an organisation removing the box asking about criminal convictions from their application forms. However, Noah feels that for individuals with more complex criminal records, there may be some unintended consequences of doing so unless employers make other changes too.