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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’ –

Building my own dreams – What I’ve learnt from becoming self-employed

I knew that having a conviction was going to make finding a job difficult but I wasn’t prepared for just how difficult it would prove. I resigned from my previous job (at my employers suggestion) when news of my court appearance became public. I had a well-paid

Life’s about reinventing yourself, not finding yourself

I’ve been reading stories on theRecord for a while now and, following my own experiences recently, I’ve felt compelled to write something in the hope that even if I can encourage just one person, then it’s been worthwhile. Five years ago I can vividly recall myself saying

Learning to forgive myself!

In the 1990’s I got a conviction for GBH. I hit a guy and he suffered brain damage; he very nearly died. At first I was told I would be facing a charge of murder. Things were so close. I found it very difficult in prison, beyond

Convictions on your DBS isn’t the end of your employment chances

Some refreshing news for those of us who have convictions that will apparently forever overshadow our possible career ambitions. The Unlock helpline recently received a call from a person with a very serious conviction (causing death by dangerous driving). The caller had been offered a place at

Sacked again! – Why can’t employers see beyond my past and just give me a chance to prove I’m a different person

Starting a new job is always a stressful time, certainly until your probationary period is up. But imagine how much worse it is to be constantly looking over your shoulder, worried about people finding out about your criminal record (even if you have disclosed it to your

The long journey from crack to carer – Working in a care home

It’s often felt that jobs within health or social care can be difficult to get into if you have a criminal record. However, as Melanie’s story shows, people with significant criminal records can successfully get into this type of work.     I’m sitting at Gatwick Airport

“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