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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

Monthly summary – April 2020

Welcome to our monthly summary for April 2020.

This provides a summary of:

  1. the latest updates to our self-help information site for people with convictions
  2. recent posts to our online magazine, theRecord
  3. discussions on our online forum
  4. other news and developments that might be of interest to people with a criminal record.

Have you stumbled across this? You can receive these updates to your inbox every month for free by signing up to our mailing list (make sure you choose to receive ‘news for people with convictions’)

Updates to our information site

Here’s a summary of the updates that we’ve made recently to the information hub. There are links within each update to where you can find more information about the update. There are also links next to many of the updates, which link to threads on our online forum where you can discuss these with other people.

About criminal records

  • Covid-19 (coronavirus) – Key information for people with a criminal record – We’ve produced some new information which sets out the latest information and advice on Covid-19 and how it impacts on those with a criminal record.
  • International Child Protection Certificate (for working overseas) – This page has been updated to reflect how certain offences can be ‘stepped down’ resulting in a certificate only showing ‘No live trace’ instead of disclosing details of a caution/conviction.

Work and volunteering

  • Working in Government – Security vetting/Security clearance – We’ve updated this page to include a link to an example of a CTC/SC questionnaire.


  • Moving on: Homelessness and leaving prison – We’ve written a further article for InsideTime which provides information on what steps to take if you’re likely to be homeless upon your release from prison.

theRecord posts

Below are links to recent posts to our online magazine, theRecord. These are often linked to the practical information that we have, to help give some personal experiences.

Struggles and stigma“Don’t believe everything you read” – Getting a visa from the US Embassy in Belfast is no guarantee “Last year I visited the US Embassy in Belfast to apply for a US holiday visa. Because of the work I do, I couldn’t afford to take the risk of lying on the online ESTA form but I’d read that my chances of getting a visa would be better in Ireland than in London …..”

Success“Acceptance was the answer to my problems” – Getting into university with an unspent conviction“I’m so pleased to be writing this and able to say that I’ve just been accepted at university to study for a Masters despite having an unspent conviction …..”

SuccessDon’t be bitter, just be better“Like so many people who’ve been locked up under an indeterminate sentence, I became very bitter and resentful. This was mostly because I knew that there was (and is) nothing ‘dangerous’ about me. I knew that if I posed a danger to anyone, I posed a danger only to myself …..”

Discussions on our online forum

Below are links to recent posts on our online forum. If you’d like to join in the discussion but are not currently a forum member, find out how you can join here.

Possible future step-grandchildren – who do I need to disclose to? – DekaRed is currently on the SOR and is looking for some clarification on who he needs to disclose his conviction to if he starts a new relationship with a lady who has grandchildren. Can anybody advise him?

Get out of lock-down free pass (to see a probation officer) – Alexh07 is interested to know what people’s experience has been of probation appointments during the Covid-19 lock-down. Let us know what arrangements your probation office has put in place.

Other news and developments

Below are links to other news and developments that might be of interest to people with a criminal record. For more news, check out the news and media section of our main website.

Spring 2020 Newsletter – What we’ve been up to

We’ve published our spring 2020 newsletter which provides an update on the news at Unlock in the last 3 months.


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

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