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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 – February 2016

Welcome to our monthly update for February 2016.

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

Work and volunteering

  • DBS Barring – Representations, reviews, appeals – We’ve updated our information around DBS Barring and making representations to reflect the introduction by the DBS of a new process of making oral representations if you’re being considered for inclusion on a barring list. Our latest advice post highlights the importance of making representations if you find yourself in this position.
  • Disclosing to employers – Read our latest advice post setting out the consequences of failing to disclose your criminal record if you’re asked.

Other areas of life

  • Improving your mental health – Our information on improving your mental health has been updated to consider who is likely to suffer from mental health problems and whether people with a criminal record have an increased risk of mental health difficulties.

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.

Views and ReviewsWhy do employers use criminal records? And why don’t they make their policy clearer?‘I’ve just seen Unlocks project aimed at employers. This looks at making the system fairer for people with convictions who are going through the recruitment process. I think this is a great idea. When I was looking for work, it was so frustrating applying for jobs, having to tick the ‘yes’ box and then getting no reply………’

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.

Breakthrough or cosmetic? Prime Minister supports ‘banning the box’

At the beginning of the month, David Cameron revealed a raft of prison reform measures, one of which was the scrapping of the declaration of criminal convictions in the initial application stage for civil service jobs. Although banning the box is an important practical change to the recruitment process, Unlock believes that it needs to be incorporated alongside a package of changes. Read Christopher Stacey’s further thoughts about this here.

Progress is made on the Charities Bill

On the 26th January, the Charities Bill was discussed again in Parliament. Sir Edward Garnier MP, a patron of Unlock and a trustee of the Prison Reform Trust raised a number of concerns which we’ve been highlighting and also discussed an amendment that he’d put forward. Read some of the key extracts from the discussion here.


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Photo of Helpline lead, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Helpline lead

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