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Are the changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act enough?

People with criminal convictions are not the most popular group in society. However, once somebody has served their sentence and doesn’t re-offend, it’s in everybody’s interests to enable them to move on positively with their lives and contribute actively to society. And we’re not talking about a

Scottish Government consult on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Christopher Stacey  This week, the Scottish Government has (finally) launched its consultation on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. England & Wales has passed its own reforms on this (although they’re still waiting to come into force), but these will not change the situation in Scotland. The

Piece in The Economist – “In Britain, criminal records dog offenders for decades”

Yesterday The Economist published an excellent piece, making the point that “the long memory of the law may limit the chance of rehabilitation”. Following the recent Law Commission report, and ahead of the Court of Appeal hearing into the current DBS filtering legal challenge, the article highlights Britain’s punitive

Rehabilitation, Rejection and Resilience

by Simon   I was very pleased to find out that the reforms to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) will apply from 10th March. I was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment in March 2004, and thought that I would have to declare my criminal conviction for

“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

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

My top 4 priorities for the next government

People with criminal records – An untapped talent pool that has been ignored for too long There are over 10.5 million people in England & Wales with a criminal record, and many find themselves treated unfairly and unnecessarily held back in life because of their past. Government

I am being punished for something I haven’t done – Insurance problems for family members

It was my first time in a court. My husband, Mark was on trial. It was his first offence. He was pleading guilty. We didn’t know how things would go. We had been told to prepare ourselves for a prison sentence. We were not told how to

Unlock – the beginning – by Bob Turney, Unlock’s co-founder

Have you ever had a chance encounter with someone that has had a far reaching impact on people’s lives for the good? I have been fortunate enough to have had a few such meetings but this one was particularly memorable. It was April 1997 and I was