Through our policy and campaign work our aim is to achieve changes in policies and practices so that we have a fairer and more inclusive society. A key approach to this work is ‘ear to the ground, voice at the top’.
Through our information, advice and support, we make sure that we listen and learn about the difficulties that people with criminal records are facing when they are trying to move on with their lives. In response to these problems, we identify recurring or systemic issues that could be resolved through changes in policy. We also challenge bad practice on a case-by-case basis through our advocacy work.
As a result of this work, we’ve achieved some significant changes in policy and practice, such as reforms to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
However, to continue to do this work, we rely on the support of people like you. There are many ways you can get involved:
Write to your MP
The only people in England and Wales who can change the law are MPs. They are, therefore, Unlock’s most important audience when it comes to our policy and campaign work. As an advocacy organisation, we recognise that progress does not come from simply criticising the current system. As an independent charity, we’re able to honestly engage with the system and advance what is an overwhelmingly powerful argument with patience and determination. Many MPs gauge public opinion by the number of letters and emails they receive on a particular subject, so writing to them makes a difference.
You can e-mail your MP using an online tool such as WriteToThem, or send a letter. More details on contacting your MP are available here. Some people think a letter is more likely to get a response, but there’s probably no truth in that. However, the MP will reply with a letter.
You can write to your MP as often as you like, but bear in mind that if you regularly bombard him or her with emails, the chances are you will be ignored.
More information on writing to your MP is available here.