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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Allow me to talk about my past and you might give me a better future

Having a criminal record can make it difficult to get into employment but as Ben has discovered, a diagnosis of PTSD makes it even more so. I came out of prison after serving 3 months of a six-month sentence. To give you some background to my conviction,

‘Employers, if you want me to disclose my conviction, then please ask me the question’

Despite ticking the ‘Yes’ box which asked about convictions on an application form, Silvester wasn’t asked about them at interview and so did not disclose. Although he’d done nothing wrong, he was still dismissed when his criminal record came to light. I’ve been out of prison for

I’ve worked hard to be part of a system that’s now holding me back – problems with the UK criminal record disclosure system

There are many people who, as youths, picked up convictions for minor offences. However, having worked hard to gain an education and contribute to society, they find themselves in a similar situation to Tom – being judged by employers who only see them as a safeguarding risk.

What’s the point of having a policy if an employer doesn’t bother to follow it?

Miski applied to a large, well-known employer and believed they would follow their published policy on recruiting people with criminal records. Here we look at how this employer approached asking, assessing and adhering to their own policy.   A couple of years ago I applied for a

The difficulty trying to rehabilitate and reintegrate miles from home.

Edward was apprehensive about having to go to an Approved Premises, also known as a ‘hostel’. What he’d read about them had been far from encouraging but in Edward’s case, the hostel was also a long way from home making it difficult to re-build his relationship with

Is it too much to expect a life without stigma following a criminal record?

Despite serving his 6-month custodial sentence, Alistair feels that the prejudice and stigma he continues to experience will be a life sentence.   Prior to finding myself on the wrong side of the law, I was a highly skilled, tax-paying member of society. On release from prison

Although my conviction can be filtered, 11 years seems a very long time to wait

As a victim of domestic abuse, Stephanie assumed that when she rang for help, the police would rescue her from her perpetrator. Instead, she ended up with a conviction which will stay on her enhanced DBS certificate for 11 years.       Back in 2015, I

Employers need to learn how to see the person and not just the crime

Despite achieving considerable success since his release from prison, Jack has found that as the positions he applies for have become more senior, the more likely employers are to do criminal record checks. Sadly he’s found that rather than base their decision on his employment history, the

‘Yes I’ve got some historic convictions but do the public really need protecting from me?’

People receive convictions for a number of reasons but as Gemma’s story demonstrates, what’s written on your DBS certificate will never adequately describe the story behind those offences. After a period of being free from offending, is there really anything to be gained by making people relive

Why won’t the media let us move on from our offending behaviour – especially those with sexual offences

News is a money making industry and it’s fair to say that the media don’t always report facts accurately. Many individuals now believe their neighbourhoods are unsafe and overestimate their odds of becoming the victim of a crime. Ethan considers how the role of the media impacts

No future without forgiveness – why the government should change the current filtering system

Phil never felt as though he’d reached his true potential due to his conviction for criminal damage. However, the thought that it would be filtered from standard and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks gave him hope for the future, until he realised that his offences weren’t

Denied healthcare due to my conviction for assault

Having spent many years in psychiatric units, Michelle is now a published author, motivational speaker and campaigner for better mental health services. From her own experiences, Michelle has discovered that some of the services she’s needed to access have been denied to her as a result of