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UK versus the USA – The Criminal Records Debate

I have a older sister, a Green card holder, who resides in the USA, and I’ve travelled there many times pre the 9/11 attacks. I am deeply proud to say that as a reformed and rehabilitated law abiding ex-criminal with spent convictions, I have considered going back

Job hunting with a criminal record – New York Times Editorial

This was originally published by The New York Times. See the bottom of this post for more information. There is no dispute that far too many Americans carry the burden of a criminal record — at least 70 million, by recent estimates — or that the easy

Problems with employment for serving inmates

I am an inmate at an open prison. I have been at the establishment for around 6 months now, already having served a sizable amount of time, and I am in the process of rebuilding my life. I am fortunate enough to have good family support and

Criminal Records Ruin Lives

Obsidian Black It’s now more than thirty-three years since I was released from prison. I thought then, naively, that the worst was over. I had served two years of a three and a half year sentence. But I didn’t realise then that the real punishment hadn’t even

Re-Imagining the Use of Criminal Records in Europe

Andrew Henley In the context of the recent, but limited, reforms to the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act in England and Wales it is worthwhile considering different approaches to criminal record data which have been taken across continental Europe. To this end, I recently attended the 6th

I was one decision away from a different life: Challenging an employer secured me a voluntary role

Akil felt compelled to share his experience of applying for a voluntary role with the NHS and hopes this reassures others that all is not lost just because you have a criminal record. Between the ages of 17 and 18 I led a fairly turbulent lifestyle which

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

‘Employers, if you want me to disclose my conviction, then please ask me the question’

Despite ticking the ‘Yes’ box which asked about convictions on an application form, Silvester wasn’t asked about them at interview and so did not disclose. Although he’d done nothing wrong, he was still dismissed when his criminal record came to light. I’ve been out of prison for

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

Overcoming my lack of confidence to get my dream job – working as a teaching assistant

One of the consequences of receiving a criminal record can be the impact it has on your self-confidence. Fiona’s story highlights how, until it was filtered, her caution impacted on her applying for her dream job.     Ever since I can remember I have loved teaching,

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

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