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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Food for thought at the food bank – An old sexual offence getting in the way of collecting food

I’ve just been released from prison having completed two years of a four year sentence. The offence I was convicted of happened when I was 14 years old. I’m now 31. During the past 17 years I’ve never been in any trouble with the police. I’m married

“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

When is enough, enough?

From the age of twenty, I trained with The National Trust specialising in the repair of old buildings following which, I began my own building business. At the same time, I sang both at amateur level and professionally as a tenor in various local operatic companies. In

Why can’t my childhood mistakes be left in the past?

Like may teenagers, I suffered at the hands of the school bully and like many teenagers, the day came when I finally decided that enough was enough and retaliated. The result was a fight in the school playground when I was 15 years old. The police were

Is a caution really a ‘slap on the wrist’? – Not if you need a Police Certificate

I have, on rare occasions, recreationally used small quantities of ‘soft’ drugs, though less so as I’ve got older. I’m a professional, hard-working, and otherwise an entirely law-abiding citizen with no so much as a parking ticket. However, in 2011 I became a criminal and will be

I disclosed, I was employed, then I was sacked?

I was convicted of assisting another person in claiming housing benefit.  I admitted the charge at the first opportunity and took full responsibility for my actions. I received a suspended prison sentence. Although this resulted in a life changing turn of events, I have tried to stay

Universities – please do your homework!

I got a conviction about 20 years ago when I was young and foolish. Since then my life has completely changed, I’ve had good jobs, got married and have a family. Generally, I can put this bad period in my life behind me but from time to

Building our dreams

I have not had a great past in terms of childhood experiences, having been brought up in a family with strict values; I always felt that my choices in life were limited. Then in my late teens, something happened which would further blight my life. I landed

Recruitment agencies expecting ‘clear’ disclosures

When it comes to jobs that are exempt from the Rehabilitation of offenders Act, the law says you still need to disclose on an application form when asked about spent cautions or convictions regardless to however minor. In my case I will discuss about a caution from

When will this go away?

I started working in the legal field when I turned 21, and although I was a single parent of three children, working full time, I worked extremely hard to do my exams and pass them. I helped hundreds of vulnerable people thought my personal life and professional

Help Unlock challenge employment discrimination

I wanted to post a piece to get readers of theRecord involved in a project that Unlock is running to challenge the employment discrimination faced by people with convictions. As part of this work, alongside supporting and challenging employers to develop good practice, we’re also looking for input

From Temp to Permanent – Learning the hard way, but still persevering

I had my disciplinary meeting the day before yesterday. At the end of the meeting I was offered the chance to resign rather than face dismissal and for the good of my “Permanent Record”, I took it. All I had to do was write out; “I (my name)