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The hopelessness of IPP sentences

At the start of 2020 there were 2,223 people in prison serving IPP sentences, despite the fact that they’d been abolished in 2012. A sentence with no end date is brutal and many have taken their own lives due to the hopelessness of their situation. Susan was

Knowledge and enthusiasm enabled me to appeal my court order

After learning that his indefinite SOPO was extending the time he spent on the Sex Offenders Register and keeping his conviction unspent, Danny knew that the only way to improve his chances of getting back into work was to have it discharged. Approximately eight years ago I

Fresh starts are over-rated – all I want is a stable job with the same employer

Being a hard worker with some impressive skills, it’s natural that Steve’s employers would want him to work on prestigious government contracts. However, with a conviction from 25 years ago, passing security vetting has been almost impossible for him. I was convicted of common assault almost 25

The positive power of talking

Having started training to be a counsellor, Stella explores the reasons why she found it so difficult to ask for help when she needed it most. I received a conviction for fraud approximately 20 years ago which resulted in a 4.5 year prison sentence. Shocking as it

Koestler Awards 2021 – Open for entries

The 2021 Koestler Awards for art in criminal justice settings is now open. There are 52 categories to choose from including the Themed Category “Together”. Every entrant will receive a certificate with many winners getting a cash prize (of between £20 and £100). Every entry is in

A chance at last – changes to filtering rules will give me a clean DBS at last

The 28 November 2020 saw changes to the criminal records disclosure regime come into force and like many people, Tony was able to see his convictions from over 45 years ago removed from standard and enhanced DBS certificates. I was born into a violent, chaotic, impoverished and

Employers, if you’ve got a blanket ban on recruiting people with unspent convictions, just tell us

Despite disclosing his unspent conviction on two occasions, Isaac was amazed to learn that his new employer had withdrawn their job offer due to a blanket ban on the recruitment of people with unspent convictions. I met my ex-girlfriend when we were studying for our ‘A’ levels

Could 2021 be the year you become your own boss?

There aren’t many people who would consider 2020 to have been a great year. Some will be approaching 2021 with a certain amount of anxiety whilst others will see it as an opportunity for change. With over 800,000 jobs being lost since the start of the Covid

Winning my battle for voluntary Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL)

Whilst serving the final year of her sentence at an open prison in Kent, Karen was volunteering at Unlock as a helpline advisor when the prisons interpretation of a new ROTL policy framework saw all voluntary work placements revoked. This article originally appeared on The Prison Reform

Why do I still have to fight for everything when my conviction was almost 4 years ago?

Whether you’re applying for a college/university course or a job, disclosing a conviction could potentially make it more difficult. Is it any surprise therefore that some people with a criminal record never reach their full potential simply because the fight goes out of them. In 2015 I

Mistakes made by probation should be a cause of concern to all

Back in 2014, Chris Grayling introduced the privatisation of the probation service. The system was heavily criticised by MP’s and Mary’s story demonstrates just what was going wrong. Several years ago, along with an accomplice, I “earned” approximately £2000 by claiming refunds for items I owned which

Keep calm and volunteer

Unlock has been really fortunate over the years to find so many generous people that are willing to give their time and talents to help others. Here Roger tells us what he’s gained from his volunteering experience at Unlock. As many of us know, getting a job