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Just because an employer doesn’t ask about criminal convictions don’t assume they won’t find out – especially if you’re under MAPPA

I’d like to bring to everyone’s attention the issues you may encounter if you’re not entirely clear about the types of restrictions or conditions that exist on your licence or the input that other organisations may have which you might not have been made aware of. This

Unlock – the beginning – by Bob Turney, Unlock’s co-founder

Have you ever had a chance encounter with someone that has had a far reaching impact on people’s lives for the good? I have been fortunate enough to have had a few such meetings but this one was particularly memorable. It was April 1997 and I was

Job centre advisors – make sure you understand the problems facing ex-offenders

In October 2015 I found myself sitting in front of a job centre adviser desperate for her to help me find a job so that I’d have some money to buy my kids some Christmas presents and to put that all important turkey on the table. I

What I wish I’d known 8 years ago – moving on with a spent conviction

Recently I applied for a volunteering role with Unlock. I filled in my application form, had an interview and was invited along to do a couple of ‘taster days’. The purpose of these are for Unlock to understand your skills but, more importantly, for you to decide

My world’s just got bigger – disclosing my conviction to a new partner and travelling to Canada

I’d been seeing Michael for a couple of months and enjoyed his company. We liked the same things – going for walks, nice meals, dancing. It wasn’t love at first sight but I’m 67 so not surprising really. The thing is, I’m not your average 67 year

John O’Groats to Land’s End – not as far as the journey from armed robber to vicar!

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from watching Robin Hood on television, it’s that even the most hardened lawbreakers can defy all expectations and turn their lives around. Some will go on to earn millions in the business world, others will help other individuals in need. I’ve

A big thank you to Maureen – The power of peer support

We’ve recently been sent this blog by Paula who was keen that we share it to let people know how important volunteers in prison and fellow prisoners are in supporting others to survive.   It was the anniversary of my release from prison yesterday and these words

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

Harnessing my anger to help myself and others – Becoming a teacher with a criminal record

Having grown up with an alcoholic and abusive father, I struggled to behave like a normal teenager. On reflection, I now appreciate how angry I was that nobody was trying to help me out of the dreadful situation I was in and my unwillingness to be ‘normal’

For better or worse – my relationship with a sex offender

Two years ago my life changed when I met a new man. He was kind, gentle, easy to talk to and made me laugh. The day after our first ‘date’ I received a text message from him which read: I need to tell you something but it

Knitting stopped me unravelling! And now it’s a business!

I’m 68 years of age and happily married, I’m well educated and achieved academic success. Oh, just one more thing, in March 2012 I was given a four year prison sentence for ‘attempted fraud’. It’s hard to explain what prison is like – I was surprised to

“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