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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

There are people in the caring profession that care about people with criminal convictions: Getting a job in a care home

As a youngster growing up my life was extremely chaotic. A mixture of getting in with the wrong crowd and being mentally unwell meant that I picked up a series of convictions – shoplifting, assault, burglary and possession of heroin. However, there reached a point when I

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

Just because an employer doesn’t ask about criminal convictions don’t assume they won’t find out – especially if you’re under MAPPA

I’d like to bring to everyone’s attention the issues you may encounter if you’re not entirely clear about the types of restrictions or conditions that exist on your licence or the input that other organisations may have which you might not have been made aware of. This

Officer G – a prison officer in a million

I’ve been watching the news over the past couple of weeks which have shown some disturbing images of prison riots. Prison officers being interviewed in the press say that cuts in staffing mean they don’t have time to deal with individual prisoners’ requests and issues. They’re spending

Job centre advisors – make sure you understand the problems facing ex-offenders

In October 2015 I found myself sitting in front of a job centre adviser desperate for her to help me find a job so that I’d have some money to buy my kids some Christmas presents and to put that all important turkey on the table. I

Knitting stopped me unravelling! And now it’s a business!

I’m 68 years of age and happily married, I’m well educated and achieved academic success. Oh, just one more thing, in March 2012 I was given a four year prison sentence for ‘attempted fraud’. It’s hard to explain what prison is like – I was surprised to

“Let me put that in writing” – Why you should always confirm your criminal record in writing what you’ve said verbally

Back in 2011, I was arrested and charged. As a result of this, I lost my job and fell into deep despair. Anxiety issues followed and ultimately depression took hold. I was lucky that I still had my close friends and family for support but I struggled