Successes

This section contains the stories of people with convictions who have managed to overcome the difficulties of living with a criminal record.

Got a success story to share? You can find out more about contributing to theRecord, or email therecord@outlook.com.

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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

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

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

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

How can one question determine your career opportunities?

Whether you’re applying to university or for a job, as a person with a criminal record there will be a point in the process when you’re asked about your conviction(s). James has likened this to a judge passing sentence, the feeling that somebody else is making a

“Computer says no” – appealing the disclosure of my spent conviction

Having successfully had his SOPO revoked Phil was confident that his conviction was spent and wouldn’t be disclosed on his basic DBS certificate. In practice however, things were not quite so simple. Nine year ago I entered a guilty plea for the possession of indecent images and

I’m following a different path but looking forward to the journey – accepted to study at university

A criminal record may necessitate a change to some of the plans we’ve made for the future but as Lachlan discovered, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I don’t think I’m a bad person but I’ve definitely made some bad choices. Unfortunately, it was one

Domestic violence against men: It’s no laughing matter

Whilst abuse of women is widely known about, it’s not widely recognised that men can be victims too. Finn’s story highlights the lasting impact that this lack of understanding and empathy can have. I’m a 38 year old male student nurse. My life is pretty good at

No challenge, no change – from drug dealer to university student

Devon was involved in criminality for a long time, recruiting children to deliver drugs for him and teaching them how to avoid arrest. Following a spell in prison, he’s put his previous life behind him and is learning how to gain respect from education. From a very

Being brave isn’t easy but it’s key to moving forward – Standing by my husband following his conviction

Standing by a partner convicted of a sexual offence is never an easy decision to make and as Julia’s story shows, can impact on many areas of your life. My husband Gary and I had been married for 12 years when he was convicted of a sexual

Gone but not forgotten – Understanding the meaning of a spent conviction

A spent conviction presents real opportunities for people to move on with their lives following a conviction but Amy wants more to be done so that people with a criminal record can truly put their past mistakes behind them. At the beginning of May I reached another