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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 – February 2020

Welcome to our monthly summary for February 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 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 links to threads on our online forum where you can discuss these with other people.

About criminal records

  • Using the General Data Protection Regulation to protect your personal data – We’ve written an advice post highlighting what employers need to have in place before collecting criminal record data from job applicants and, what you can do if, having supplied this information to an employer, your application is unsuccessful.
  • GDPR and data protection – Guide for individuals – We’ve updated this page to include some frequently asked questions.
  • Police certificates – This page has been updated to reflect the price increase for police certificates. The cost of an International Child Protection Certificate (for working overseas) has also increased by £15 to £75.

Criminal record checks for employment

  • Basic criminal record checks – We’ve included a new section on this page which sets out details of how employers can now pay the DBS directly for basic check for their employees.


  • List of insurance brokers – Our list of insurance brokers that provide specialist insurance to people with convictions has been updated.

theRecord posts

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

SuccessA journey from entering the Koestler Awards to studying at the Royal Drawing School “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 a single cell, in HMYOI Brinsford and had minimal contact with anyone outside of the prison walls. But, I did have a pencil, and after seeing other people’s artwork on the wing, I began to draw on any odd scraps of paper that I could acquire …..”

Struggles and stigmaIf employers aren’t willing to give people with convictions a second chance how can we ever prove that we’ve changed“In 2016, I was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for a violent and sexual offence. This means that as things stand, my conviction will never become spent …..”

SuccessMy life has been enriched since challenging my SOPO“Back in 2009 I was convicted of a downloading offence which resulted in a community sentence and an indefinite SOPO. In the years following my conviction I started to rebuild my life and was doing very well working in finance as well as doing some freelance writing on the side until one of my colleagues found out about my conviction …..”

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.

How to disclose to friends and family after arrest? – Following his arrest last year, lotsofquer is keen to hear how others disclosed their conviction to friends and family. Can you help.

Differing recruitment polices and standards of risk assessment – 30sell is keen to hear about people’s experiences of applying for voluntary roles with non-profit making organisations. You can post any comments here.

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 speaks to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about the launch of its #Fairchecks campaign

Following the launch of the #FairChecks movement, Unlock’s policy and practice lead, Rachel Tynan, spoke to Radio 4’s Jenni Murray about the need for the movement and how people can support the campaign.

Unlock raises concerns as Charity Commission grants just six criminal conviction waivers

Unlock’s co-director, Christopher Stacey has called for the Charity Commission to publish an independent review on their decision making process after an article on the Civil Society website highlighted how the Commission has refused more than half the applications it has received from people with convictions wishing to serve as trustees or senior managers.

New trustees appointed to Unlock

Unlock have recently appointed four new trustees to join its board. Find out more about them here.


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

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