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Home sweet home – successfully appealing a Council’s decision to take a spent conviction into account

Laura couldn’t understand how her son could be removed from the Council’s housing list after accidentally disclosing his spent convictions. However, the lack of understanding around spent/unspent convictions by Council staff surprised her even more.   My son Roman was aged 22 when he applied for and

Thanks Unlock for being part of my journey – volunteering as a helpline advisor

Having met a member of the Unlock team during a Disclosure Workshop in prison, Reece was delighted to be able to continue this association when he secured a voluntary role as a helpline advisor.   It was early 2018 and I was nearing the end of my

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

Disclosing convictions received during my employment

After receiving two convictions in a short space of time, Deena was anxious about having to explain them to her current employer. Having been employed for 5 years, she didn’t for one minute consider not disclosing and in this case, the result was positive. I’d worked for

Has ‘Ban the Box’ turned a job interview into another courtroom?

Many people with an unspent conviction will welcome an organisation removing the box asking about criminal convictions from their application forms. However, Noah feels that for individuals with more complex criminal records, there may be some unintended consequences of doing so unless employers make other changes too.

Living and working in China after asking the police to delete my cautions

Niall’s cautions had never really caused him too many problems until he wanted to live and work in China. He’d often wondered whether he’d been given the best advice by his solicitor after accepting the cautions and took the decision to apply to the police to have

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

Prison to parenthood

With the forthcoming launch of his Prison to Parenthood project, David explains how his own experiences with alcohol and the family court led him to set up this new pilot scheme.   2018 was the strangest year I’ve known. It began in a prison cell with all

Although prison affected my mental health, I want to stay part of the criminal justice system

Toni was determined that on her release from prison she was going to turn her back on the criminal justice system. However, as she later discovered, the impact of her prison sentence meant that she’d go on to use her experiences in a much more positive way. 

What a difference 5 years makes – applying to university with a criminal record

Megan was extremely disappointed when her university application for a nursing degree was refused on the basis of her criminal record. However, after taking time out to re-evaluate her career and her conviction, Megan applied again and was offered places at 3 different universities.   Nursing had

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

‘No’ didn’t mean ‘no’, it meant ‘not right now’ – getting a job on my second application

After having a job offer withdrawn after disclosing a conviction, Sam wasn’t put off from applying again for the same job two years later, only this time she was adamant that she’d get a different result.   Two years ago I was interviewed for a job with