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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 update – December 2015

Welcome to our monthly update for December 2015.

This update 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. 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 Information Hub. There are links within each update to where you can find more information about the update on our Hub. 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 members of the forum.

About criminal records

  • Restraining orders – We’ve produced some new information about restraining orders which sets out when they become spent, when they should be disclosed and the ongoing implications of living with one.

Specific occupations and professions

  • Gambling licence (known as a Personal Functional Licence) – After some queries to our helpline about this, we thought it would be useful to have some specific information on our site about this. A person working in a role which involves the receiving or paying of money in connection with gambling will probably need a Personal Functional Licence. Click here to find out what you need to disclose when making an application for a licence and how a criminal record may impact on the successful granting of one.

Work and volunteering

  • Support getting into work – As a small but national charity, we’re unable to provide links to specific local and regional employment support services. However, we have updated our information on support getting into work to highlight the major organisations who provide support to people with convictions who are looking to get back into work, and also the main organisations who should be able to point you to sources of local support. .

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.

Struggles and stigmaUniversities please do your homework – ‘I got a conviction about 20 years ago when I was young and foolish. Since then my life has completely changed. I’ve had good jobs, got married and have a family. Generally, I can put this bad period in my life behind me but from time to time I’m reminded that you can never truly escape your past ……..’.

SuccessesDealing with my barriers and borders ‘I guess it is only fitting that I have a painful reminder of the events that brought me to Australia in a round-about kind of way. As I was sat on the plane I was thinking about how flying long haul is a little bit like sharing a cell with people. Strangers are invading your personal space. I had to tell them if I needed the toilet. I had to squeeze past them, touch them and hear them snore…’

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 supports legal challenge to disproportionate criminal records disclosure scheme

On 8th December the High Court heard a legal challenge to the Government’s criminal record disclosure scheme. Two cases were heard at the Court with Unlock providing a witness statement in respect of one of the cases which was brought by Liberty. This involved a person with two extremely minor offences from 1999 who was seeking voluntary positions in schools with a view to achieving her aim of working as a teaching assistant . Find out more about the legal challenge here.

Unlock speaks to Radio 5 Live on the issue of criminal record checks

On the day Unlock was at the High Court supporting the above legal challenge, Christopher Stacey, Unlock’s Co-Director talked on Radio 5 Live about the impact of criminal record checks. Click here to listen to the programme.

Extension of disqualifications in Charities Bill are unnecessary

Plans to see tougher disqualification rules introduced to the Charities Bill could see 50,000 people automatically banned from being Trustees and we have commented on an article written by Andy Ricketts in Third Sector.

We are pushing for amendments to the Bill and have submitted our own evidence. We are now asking anybody with convictions to do the same. To find out what we’d like you to do, please see here.

Expectations for Police Custody

We’ve responded to the October 2015 consultation on Expectations for Police Custody published by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. Read our full response here.


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Photo of Helpline lead, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Helpline lead

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