Sort Posts by:

Transition – You never truly fail until you quit

My journey of transition unwittingly began as I lay face down at the banking of the Thames surrounded by a group of armed officers after having failed miserably in my bid to evade capture after a 5 hour armed siege. What then ensued was a series of

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

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

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

Despite my criminal record, I am a good Samaritan

It’s important that any organisation working with the young or vulnerable carry out proper risk assessments and, as George’s story shows, formal criminal record checks and assessments don’t automatically lead to you being refused a voluntary role. Just over two years ago I was convicted of an

I thought “offenders” were different to me until my friend received a criminal record

Annie found it hard to empathise with anybody that had a criminal record until her friend received a conviction and went to prison. I’ve been running my own hairdressing business for approximately 25 years now and, I’m happy to say that it’s very successful. I’m based in

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

Lets be inclusive not exclusive – a possible solution to re-offending

Andi is of the firm belief that inclusion is at the heart of preventing re-offending. Read how his own experiences have shaped his views. I had a childhood that was plagued with crime, poverty, drugs, violence and adversity. This meant spending some time in care, school exclusion

‘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

The smartest thing I’ve learnt since my conviction is that I don’t need a man to be successful

Lisa is the first to admit that although she didn’t set out to break the law herself, she was happy to turn a blind eye to what her husband was involved in. Her time in prison made her realise that she was a stronger person than she’d

I’ve worked hard to be part of a system that’s now holding me back – problems with the UK criminal record disclosure system

There are many people who, as youths, picked up convictions for minor offences. However, having worked hard to gain an education and contribute to society, they find themselves in a similar situation to Tom – being judged by employers who only see them as a safeguarding risk.

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