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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

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

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

“Acceptance was the answer to my problems” – Getting into university with an unspent conviction

Despite education being widely recognised as a key factor in successful rehabilitation, having to disclose a conviction will often mean that people with convictions are discouraged from applying. But, refusal from one university didn’t stop Henry from following his dream to study for a Masters. I’m so

A journey from entering the Koestler Awards to studying at the Royal Drawing School

This post originally appeared on the Koestler Arts website and is reproduced with permission and thanks. I found my creative side about 12 years ago whilst I was serving a six-year sentence in a young offender institution. I was locked up for 23 hours a day, in

An education, a job and a future; look how my life has changed

Despite a pretty awful childhood, the support of her foster family enabled Maddie to follow her dream of becoming a social worker. My childhood sounds like something from a Martina Cole novel. I came from one of those families that you see on the Jeremy Kyle show.

What a difference 5 years makes – applying to university with a criminal record

Megan was extremely disappointed when her university application for a nursing degree was refused on the basis of her criminal record. However, after taking time out to re-evaluate her career and her conviction, Megan applied again and was offered places at 3 different universities.   Nursing had

What’s the right chemical formula to getting a place at university?

Despite proving that academically she’s capable of studying for a chemistry teaching qualification, Paris’ conditional university offer was revoked after the university’s criminal records panel felt that court transcripts given to them didn’t provide enough information to allow them to adequately risk assess her.    In 2015

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

John O’Groats to Land’s End – not as far as the journey from armed robber to vicar!

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from watching Robin Hood on television, it’s that even the most hardened lawbreakers can defy all expectations and turn their lives around. Some will go on to earn millions in the business world, others will help other individuals in need. I’ve

Harnessing my anger to help myself and others – Becoming a teacher with a criminal record

Having grown up with an alcoholic and abusive father, I struggled to behave like a normal teenager. On reflection, I now appreciate how angry I was that nobody was trying to help me out of the dreadful situation I was in and my unwillingness to be ‘normal’