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I thought “offenders” were different to me until my friend received a criminal record

Annie found it hard to empathise with anybody that had a criminal record until her friend received a conviction and went to prison. I’ve been running my own hairdressing business for approximately 25 years now and, I’m happy to say that it’s very successful. I’m based in

Should my past forever define who I am?

Sadly, AJ’s story is not an unusual one. As a young man, he made some bad choices which saw him sent to prison. Yet despite spending the last 9 years trying to make amends, it seems as though he’ll never be allowed to leave the past behind.

I’ve been fortunate that my stupidity hasn’t been held against me

On paper Keith’s conviction for arson sounds terrible but, the key to his success has been his ability to disclose it openly and honestly to any college/university or employer that asks. I left home at the age of 16 and for the next two years stayed with

My life has been enriched since challenging my SOPO

A series of terrible incidents relating to his criminal record led Gerry to apply to have his SOPO revoked with a very positive outcome. Back in 2009 I was convicted of a downloading offence which resulted in a community sentence and an indefinite SOPO. In the years

If employers aren’t willing to give people with convictions a second chance how can we ever prove that we’ve changed

Josh readily accepts that having been convicted of a serious offence he deserved to be punished. However, having worked hard to deal with the issues that led to his offending, Josh is struggling to come to terms with the fact that he’s going to be punished for

A journey from entering the Koestler Awards to studying at the Royal Drawing School

This post originally appeared on the Koestler Arts website and is reproduced with permission and thanks. I found my creative side about 12 years ago whilst I was serving a six-year sentence in a young offender institution. I was locked up for 23 hours a day, in

I had to face the consequences of breaking the law, why shouldn’t local councils?

Having discovered that his local council were acting unlawfully by requesting a copy of his subject access request from the police, Mikey wasn’t content with a simple ‘sorry’ from them. Last year I reapplied to go on the councils housing list as in 2017 I’d been refused

Isn’t 45 years long enough to have to disclose a criminal record?

Laura has been able to work very successfully as a librarian despite her criminal record. However, she feels strongly that the current disclosure laws need to be changed so that there comes a time when people with very old convictions no longer have to reveal them to

Reflections on the last decade from a person with a criminal record

As we enter a new decade, Amy looks back at her experiences over the past 10 years. Stepping into 2020, I’m sure you can’t have failed to notice the huge amount of people that joined in the Instagram 10-Year Challenge, posting photographs of themselves in 2010 and

Do the police believe in rehabilitation?

After a visit from the police, Russell felt like the police didn’t believe in rehabilitation, as they took no account of how he’d moved forwards with his life over the 8 years since his last offence. I have been on the Sex Offenders Register (SOR) for five

I thought the last people to judge me would be the solicitors I worked for

After working for a company for 25 years, Ian was distraught to learn that following changes to the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s Code of Conduct, he would have to disclose his 31 year old criminal record. Until August of this year I was employed in the accounts department

Teaching is facing a recruitment crisis; how can it be turned around?

Several years ago, The Guardian published an article about the crisis in the recruitment of teachers. Since then, things haven’t got much better however as an ex-teacher with a criminal record, I’ve got my own ideas on how to improve the recruitment problem. Back in 2017, it