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Monthly summary – February 2017

Welcome to our monthly summary for February 2017.

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 just stumbled across this? You can receive these updates direct 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 theInformationHub. 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 with convictions. 

Criminal record checks for employment

  • Eligibility for an enhanced DBS check if you work as a contractor in a school or care home – We’ve produced an advice post which sets out the definition of regulated activity and the criteria which needs to be met to enable an employer to do an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s and/or adult barred list.
  • Disclosure of police intelligence on enhanced checks – We’ve updated this page to make it easier to navigate and added some additional links to other parts of the site.


  • Getting a mortgage – We’ve updated this information to better reflect the problems faced in getting a mortgage if you have an unspent conviction.

Specific offences

  • Removing historical convictions and cautions for consensual gay sex from criminal records – We’ve written an advice post to reflect the decision by the Government to posthumously pardon gay and bisexual offences which have now been decriminalised.

theRecord posts

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

Success – Officer G – a prison officer in a million‘I’ve been watching the news over the past couple of weeks which has shown some disturbing images of prison riots. Prison officers being interviewed in the press say that cuts in staffing mean they don’t have time to deal with individual prisoner’s requests and issues  ….’

Struggles and stigma – Just because an employer doesn’t ask about criminal convictions don’t assume they won’t find out – especially if you’re under MAPPA – ‘I’d like to bring to everyone’s attention the issues you may encounter if you’re not entirely clear about the types of restrictions or conditions that exist on your licence or the input that other agencies may have which you might not have been made aware of. This is my story ….’

SuccessThere are people in the caring profession that care about people with criminal convictions: Getting a job in a care home – ‘As a youngster growing up my life was extremely chaotic. A mixture of getting in with the wrong crowd and being mentally unwell meant that I picked up a series of convictions ….’

Discussions on our online forum

Below are links to recent posts to 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.

Whats the chances of success when you apply to come off the register? – CC has responded to the information we posted about the police forces who are most likely to approve requests to come off the SOR and the ones least likely. He’s also provided some ideas for how the length of time somebody spends on the register could be better determined by an individual’s success in rehabilitation. Let us know what you think.

Travelling to the USA – JohnL  has posted a question asking whether anybody has successfully applied for an ESTA and travelled to the USA ‘trouble free’ after coming off the register. He’s going to be travelling to the US for a conference with his boss and is obviously quite nervous about this. Has anybody got any experience of this. 

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.

Unlock responds to Law Commission review of DBS filtering system

At the beginning of the month, the Law Commission recommended a wider review of the criminal record disclosure system. Download the full report and read Christopher Stacey’s reponse here.

Unlock welcomes new official open recruitment employer guide

The Department for Work and Pensions in partnership with Business in the Community have just published a guide, ‘Strengthening your workforce with talent from disadvantaged groups’, which provides a step by step guide to helping employers achieve open recruitment. It contains a specific section on people with criminal records.

Unlocking the potential of UK’s ex-offenders

A recent article published by NatWest suggests that one remedy to fill the UK’s skills gap could be to hire more ex-offenders and discusses what is the best way to go about it. Read the full article here.

Piece in The Economist – “In Britain, criminal records dog offenders for decades”

Unlock has contributed to an article in The Economist making the point that “the long memory of the law may limit the chance of rehabilitation”.

Government “exploring” incentives for businesses that take on ex-offenders

The Work and Pensions Committee has published the Government’s response to its report on the support for ex-offenders leaving prison. This indicates that the Government has accepted the case made for many of the Committee’s recommendations and is looking for ways to take them forward. Download the Government’s response here.



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

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