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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 – November 2019

Welcome to our monthly summary for November 2019.

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.

Work and volunteering

  • Do you need help challenging an ineligible DBS check? – We’ve provided some new templates which can be used to challenge an ineligible check being carried out by the DBS.
  • Ban the Box employers – We’ve updated our list of Ban the Box employers to include Redbridge Council, HSS Hire Group, The Old Vic and West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner.

About criminal records

  • Disclosure and Barring Service – An overview – If you believe that the DBS have made a mistake on your DBS certificate and you’ve exhausted the appeals process, you may wish to consider taking your case to judicial review. We’ve added some new information about the judicial review process.
  • Disclosure of police intelligence on enhanced checks (approved information) – We’ve added details to this page of a Supreme Court case which considered the issue of disclosure of non-conviction information on enhanced DBS checks.
  • Barring (Children’s Barred List and Adults’ Barred List) – We’ve updated this page to include links to the legislation around automatic barring and automatic inclusion offences.

Universities, colleges and education

  • Tell us about … applying to higher education with a criminal record – We’d like to hear from you about your experience of applying to higher education if you have a criminal record.


  • Basic bank accounts – We’ve updated this page to include details of the nine largest banks who offer fee-free accounts and the ID you’ll need to open an account.

Information Hub

  • We’re listening – Tell us what you think about our Information Hub – We’re always looking to improve the look and content of our Information Hub and have put together a survey giving users a chance to tell us what they think of the site.

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.

SuccessForgiving myself was harder than being forgiven by others“If you ask the general public what offenders are the most dangerous or what the most heinous offence is, most would say ‘murderers’ and ‘murder’. Back in 1999, I became that person …..”

Struggles and stigmaA cautionary tale if you’re looking to start a relationship with somebody who has been convicted of a sexual offence“My partner Stephen is a convicted sex offender. I’m divorced and until I met him neither I, nor anyone close to me, had met a person with a criminal record …..”

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.

Employment – Hockerill was released from prison approximately 6 months ago and is finding it difficult to get into employment due to his criminal record and gaps in his CV. Does anybody have any advice they can offer around his CV and friendly employers?

Success with Google effect – Harmless has recently seen his name disappear from page one of Google’s search results which seems to be due to the way that news articles are “tagged”. He’s also given some practical tips on how to push up your positive profile on search results. Read more 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 volunteer short-listed for helpline volunteer of the year award

One of our long-standing volunteers was short-listed for the Helpline Partnership’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award in recognition of his valuable contribution to the charity.

Unlock Annual Report 2018-19

We’ve just published our Annual Report and Accounts for the year 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 which provides an overview of what Unlock has done during the year to make a positive impact on the lives of people with convictions.


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

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