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Our mission is to support & advocate for people with criminal records to be able to move on positively in their lives. Find out more

Double your impact this week with the Big Give

Donate to Unlock between 28 November and 5 December and your donation will be doubled

Unlock is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge – which means any donation you are able to make will be doubled at no extra cost to you, thanks to match funding.

This year, we’re focussing on the issues faced by people who receive criminal records as children. We hear every day from people who are still facing barriers to getting on in life, decades later.

There are rightly different laws, policies and practices – including a distinct court system and different custodial institutions – for children who enter the criminal justice system. However, the criminal record system relating to childhood offences remains only a slightly tweaked version of the adult system. This means people who acquire a criminal record as a child can see this traumatic part of their lives returning to haunt them, in all sorts of unexpected ways, for the rest of their lives.

Quote from a young woman: "It's been a cycle of anxiety and embarrassment over an incident that occurred ten years ago"

Unlock has been successful in helping to bring about some improvements to the system, but we know more change is needed. We will campaign for:

  • The majority of childhood offences to be sealed when sentence is completed.
  • All those offences to be sealed after a set period of time.
  • A transparent system for assessing when exceptionally serious offences become sealed.

Funding from The Big Give Christmas Challenge will help us campaign to bring about these changes.


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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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