Struggles & Stigma

This section contains the stories of people with convictions who are facing difficulties as a result of the impact of their criminal record.

Got a story or experience to share? You can find out more about contributing to theRecord, or email therecord@outlook.com.

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Why can’t our past mistakes be left in the past? The ongoing impact of a criminal record

For many people who receive a conviction, the fact that it impacts on so many areas of their life can come as a huge shock. Sammy has faced discrimination from employers and insurers and believes society and government should be doing more to help people move on

I was rejected from university because of my record, now I’m campaigning for fair treatment

I didn’t really ever class myself as an academic when I was younger. I didn’t engage at school – learning just didn’t seem to be something I was interested in. But when I found myself at Her Majesty’s Pleasure aged 21 it was a pivotal point in

Having my wings clipped by an old conviction – how my criminal record stopped me travelling with my family

Following an emergency overseas, Helen needed to fly to the Caribbean. However, an old conviction meant that she ended up doing this without her family. Read about the barriers that Helen continues to face due to her criminal record and what she’s planning to do to help

I was told that my historic convictions would stop me working in a prison, but is that really the case?

Like many people who’ve had personal experience of the criminal justice system, Victoria wanted to help others who found themselves in a similar situation to the one she’d been in. Sadly, she discovered that the Prison Service were more likely to consider her historic convictions rather than

Driven to suicide as a result of an enhanced DBS certificate – the problem with the disclosure of police intelligence

I head up an information and advice line for a small network of youth groups in England and Wales and often hear from young people who are facing problems as a result of the ongoing effects of their criminal record. I recently dealt with a particularly tragic

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

What’s the right chemical formula to getting a place at university?

Despite proving that academically she’s capable of studying for a chemistry teaching qualification, Paris’ conditional university offer was revoked after the university’s criminal records panel felt that court transcripts given to them didn’t provide enough information to allow them to adequately risk assess her.    In 2015

“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

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’ –

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