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A Champion Christmas

Grant Thomas Monday January 23rd 2012. After a harrowing Christmas and new year period, which was precipitated by my latest bout of depression, sleeplessness and worthlessness, I rather despondently picked up the phone to call the First Step Trust. At this juncture my life had not fully

An open letter to Chris Grayling from an ‘old lag’

Dear Mr Grayling, I read with great interest your speech on Tuesday. As someone who has been to prison, and now recruits and trains mentors, I am doing the work you want to encourage. But I find your description of me as an ‘old lag’ offensive and


Christopher Stacey As many regular readers (and followers of Unlock on Twitter) will already know, on December 1st 2012 the Criminal Records Bureau was merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to become the Disclosure & Barring Service. For some time now, Unlock has been working on detailed

Convictions and Employment Law

Christopher Stacey Following a detailed piece of work for Unlock by a volunteer, we’ve recently published our first ever detailed guide on the issue of convictions and employment law. We’re hoping that it will help to inform people about where they stand with employers when it comes

Is it spent now?

Christopher Stacey New guide on ROA changes published Just before the Christmas holidays, we published a brief guide to the planned changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, as enacted by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. It’s available to download as

Curtis and Jodie’s story

Curtis and Jodie Curtis and Jodie are making living together work for them, but they feel they’re not getting the right support Jodie: We’ve been together a year and live together at a new place. So far it’s been alright; it gets annoying sometimes when you’re in

Aaron’s story

Aaron Aaron writes about the challenges of resettlement and his hopes for the future My experience since being out of prison is that they just throw you out and just leave you, and they only step in when you mess up. They’ll then say they were there

Lisa’s story

Lisa From living alone at 17, Lisa has just won a YJB prize for her youth work I was 17 when I got my own place. I was with a few mates before that, just sofas and that sort of thing, which was horrible because I never

J’s story

J J was a victim of gun crime, which he puts down to today’s street culture I got three shotgun wounds to my legs. I was on the street when a car randomly pulled up and men in balaclavas wound down the window and shot me. I

Damian’s story

Damian Damien is working with the CRAE to help improve conditions for young people in custody I got involved with the Children’s Rights Alliance because of my past experience of being in custody. I wanted to change that experience for people who go through it. I especially

Martin’s story

Martin From tough estates to TV, Martin says he now feels valued and listened to I was born in Manchester, but moved to Bradford when I was a baby and have been here all my life. I have some good and some bad memories of Bradford. Times

Zoe’s story

Zoe Zoe is hoping that her new home will give her stability I’ve moved quite a number of times in my life. I’m now on my 27th time and live in Huddersfield. I’ve lived in London four times, Scarborough, Blackpool, parts of Leeds, all over the place