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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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)

Why don’t the job centre and work programme know what they’re talking about?

I’ve just come back from my latest meeting with my work programme advisor. That experience, and others recently, have driven me to write about the failures that I think are contributing to the difficulties that people with convictions face. Okay, so I’ve got convictions. The most recent,

Job hunting with a criminal record – New York Times Editorial

This was originally published by The New York Times. See the bottom of this post for more information. There is no dispute that far too many Americans carry the burden of a criminal record — at least 70 million, by recent estimates — or that the easy

Banning the Box and the Demands for Disclosure – Part 1

It’s a sobering thought when you’re sat there, faced with three strangers you’ve never met: the panel at your job interview has more information about your criminal record than a jury would if you were on trial. And, in a capitalist economy where we all have to

Filtering failure

Despite having enjoyed a successful 40 year career in the private sector – and having raised his children successfully to adulthood – Richard was surprised to discover that his record branded him as a criminal with two previous convictions – one for possessing “dangerous drugs” and the

“Computer says no” to running a business

Like many people who contact Unlock, I have convictions. There’s more than one – fraud, burglary, driving whilst disqualified and I’m not proud of them but I’ve learnt my lesson and now I just want to put the past behind me and move on. At the moment

Problems with employment for serving inmates

I am an inmate at an open prison. I have been at the establishment for around 6 months now, already having served a sizable amount of time, and I am in the process of rebuilding my life. I am fortunate enough to have good family support and