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.

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academically she’s capable of studying for a chemistry teaching qualification, Paris’ conditional university offer was revoked after the university’s criminal records panel felt that court transcripts given to them didn’t provide enough information to allow them to adequately risk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

Life after receiving a conviction for a sexual offence

We’ve previously published stories which have demonstrated some of the positive ways in which people have moved on after receiving a conviction for a sexual offence, in particular ‘Functioning on a daily basis with a sexual offences order’ and ‘For better or worse – my relationship with

Historic convictions – I’m letting them stop me from working because I’m too ashamed to disclose them

  Disclosing details of your criminal record is never easy but some people find it more difficult than others. Monica’s story shows what steps she’s taken to avoid having to disclose to an employer and, although we totally understand her reasons for doing so, sometimes you just

Lessons in disclosure – just because an employer doesn’t ask the question, you’ll still be seen as dishonest if they find out you’ve got a criminal record

In 2015 I was sentenced to 16 months in prison for fraud against my employer. I was 33 years old when I was convicted and the offence was completely out of character. Up until that point, I’d had a completely clean criminal record and had never had