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About the online forum

What is the forum and why is it needed?

What is it for?

TheForum is an online community forum for law-abiding people with convictions. It offers people with convictions the opportunity to:

  • Take part in a positive, forward-looking community
  • Provide and receive information, advice and support about overcoming the stigma of a criminal record
  • Share experiences and motivate others

Who can take part?

TheForum is for law-abiding people with convictions.

For details on how theForum applies to family members and professionals working with reformed offenders, see theForum terms of use.

Why is it needed?

  • We receive daily telephone calls, emails, and letters from people with convictions. These include serving prisoners, people on community sentences and people with offences many years in the past who continue to suffer difficulties as a result of their convictions.
  • The problems faced are often similar, such as accessing employment, housing and financial services but suitable advice or support is lacking. People often contact Unlock because they just do know where else to turn.
  • Some problems are less well known such as the impact of convictions on travelling or the discrimination against people with convictions by NHS staff.
  • Having convictions is often a lonely experience. Old support structures, such as friends and family, are often lost and developing new networks is often difficult. This social isolation can compound other issues as people suffer alone.

How does theForum meet this need?

TheForum has…

  • Developed a supportive community which is able to help itself.
  • Reduced social isolation by bringing together people with shared experiences, so that people know that they are not alone.
  • Improved signposting to existing quality services with former service users able to comment on their personal experiences of those services.
  • Identified opportunities for improvement within existing services.
  • Provided a opportunity for people to raise awareness of new and hidden problems that people with convictions face.

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12 million people have criminal records in the UK. We need your help to help them.

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