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Struggling to find work with a life licence

Despite his conviction being almost 20 years ago, Ed explains how employers still judge him on the person he was then and not the person he is now.     In 1999 I was tried and convicted of murder. I had never been in trouble before and

A long criminal record doesn’t have to stop you succeeding – My experience of working with young and vulnerable adults

Many people assume that once they’ve got a criminal record, they’ll never be able to work with children or vulnerable adults. As Danny’s story shows, this is not always the case.      What can I say about my childhood – it wasn’t great to be honest.

From prisoner to probation officer – securing a job as a probation officer with a criminal record

Back in 2005 when I was about 16 years old my mum made the brave decision to move me and my younger brother from London to Wales. Although I’d never got into any serious trouble, I’d been hanging around with the ‘wrong-crowd’ and had started to get

Staying positive and being resilient – my journey from prison to normality

Having a little bit of time on my hands, I just wanted to share my experiences of being out in the real world. It’s been eight months since my release from prison after serving four years of an eight year sentence for conspiracy to defraud. From the

Sometimes you have to believe you’re worth it – securing the job of my dreams with a criminal record

I’ll never forget the day I sat across from the smiley faced prison officer who told me “You’ll never get a job with a fraud conviction. You’d have more chance if you’d murdered somebody”. So much for moving on, being rehabilitated – from what this woman was

Getting permission from probation to travel to my brother’s wedding whilst on licence

From the day I received my custodial sentence, I was determined to turn my life around and make sure that I never went back to prison. I kept my head down all the time I was inside and upon release I’d already lined up a job volunteering

What I wish I’d known 8 years ago – moving on with a spent conviction

Recently I applied for a volunteering role with Unlock. I filled in my application form, had an interview and was invited along to do a couple of ‘taster days’. The purpose of these are for Unlock to understand your skills but, more importantly, for you to decide

A big thank you to Maureen – The power of peer support

We’ve recently been sent this blog by Paula who was keen that we share it to let people know how important volunteers in prison and fellow prisoners are in supporting others to survive.   It was the anniversary of my release from prison yesterday and these words

“Let me put that in writing” – Why you should always confirm your criminal record in writing what you’ve said verbally

Back in 2011, I was arrested and charged. As a result of this, I lost my job and fell into deep despair. Anxiety issues followed and ultimately depression took hold. I was lucky that I still had my close friends and family for support but I struggled

I didn’t know the real sentence would start after leaving prison

I’ll start this with the following statement: If someone had told me I’d have a criminal record and get a prison term three years ago, I’d have laughed. However, the reality of this journey has been eye-opening and frightening! The pre-prison journey was horrendous and my lack

Moving on with fire in my belly

Back in June last year, after almost nine years in prison, I finally made it to open conditions. Wow, at long last, I could start to imagine a life for myself away from prison. Soon after arriving at my new abode, I met with my offender supervisor

Learning to forgive myself!

In the 1990’s I got a conviction for GBH. I hit a guy and he suffered brain damage; he very nearly died. At first I was told I would be facing a charge of murder. Things were so close. I found it very difficult in prison, beyond