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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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

Organisations can’t be diverse or inclusive until HR professionals recognise the value of people with convictions

Despite having worked as a nurse for many years, Janice feels that HR departments are more interested in her conviction from 20 years ago than her abilities as a nurse. I’ve been a nurse for over 11 years and have worked in the same hospital department for

Google, ‘Do the right thing’ – don’t take my spent conviction into account when making recruitment decisions

In 2019 Google adopted the motto “do the right thing” to encourage it’s employees to be civil to one another and not break the law. However, as George discovered, this didn’t stop them from flouting the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and taking his spent conviction into account

I can’t erase my past mistakes, I can only learn from them to be better.

Over the last 3 months the number of people claiming out of work benefits has more than doubled. Like many people with a criminal record, Robbie is worried about how this will further impact on his chances of getting a job. Every time I turn on the

Probation, ‘borderline’ offenders and the need for boundaries

One person in 20 is currently living with a personality disorder and a large proportion of these are women. Symptoms vary but in Stacey’s case she struggled with her emotions and relationships with others. She feels strongly that probation officers need more training to enable them to

Why are insurance companies still discriminating against those with a criminal record?

Having just gone through the process of renewing his car and home insurance policies, Leo asks why more isn’t being done to challenge the excessive premiums insurance companies are imposing on people with a criminal record. I was convicted of fraud in March 2017 and received a

“Don’t believe everything you read” – Getting a visa from the US Embassy in Belfast is no guarantee

Having done a huge amount of research, Will was reasonably optimistic that travelling to the US Embassy in Belfast would improve his chances of getting a visa. Last year I visited the US Embassy in Belfast to apply for a US holiday visa. Because of the work

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.

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

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

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