Skip to main content

Tag: Forum

Official launch of updated online forum to support people with convictions

Today Unlock officially launches its updated online forum to support people in overcoming the stigma of their criminal record.

Christopher Stacey, Co-director of Unlock said:

“Although there’s over 10.5 million people in the UK with a criminal record, it can often feel like a lonely place when you’re struggling with the stigma and discrimination that can come with a criminal record. Problems can unexpectedly come up many years after, including practical issues like disclosing your record to employers, finding insurance and going on holiday. The sense of isolation and lack of confidence can compound this problem. That’s why we’re delighted to launch our updated forum, as we know it’s a great way for people to share their experiences, motivate others, highlight examples of bad practice and help push for changes”.

The forum, which was originally set up over seven years ago, has over 2,600 members who, between them, have made 22,384 posts.

Commenting on the re-design, Debbie Sadler, Advice Manager at Unlock and project lead for the recent update, said:

“The forum provides a fantastic community for people with convictions to get information, advice and support from others who have been in similar situations. After 7 years, the forum needed a bit of a face lift and some restructuring to make it better able to meet the needs of people with a criminal record. The new forum is certainly more user-friendly and will hopefully help us to reach and involve more people with convictions, as well as being a big hit with our existing members”.

theForum offers people with convictions the chance to:

  • Engage in a positive, peer-to-peer community
  • Provide and receive information, advice and support in overcoming the stigma of a criminal record
  • Share positive experiences and inspirational stories

Jamie, a person with a criminal record who used Unlock’s previous forum said:

“I joined the forum when it first started 7 yeas ago. I saw it as a way of talking with and listening to other people with convictions who had between them a vast amount of experience and were prepared to share their advice with others who were trying to find that all important break and re-build their lives. The forum provides a form of support which, over the years, has been invaluable. The more people with convictions that know about this, the better.

For more information

  1. You can visit the forum or find out further information
  2. A poster that promotes theForum can be found here
  3. There is further information about the recent changes to the forum.

Our updated forum is now live – take a look!

Last April, we started work on updating our forum and we’re delighted to say that this in now available at

Although theForum may look different, it still delivers on the reasons why we set it up 8 years ago. It’s offers people with convictions the chance to:

  • Engage in a positive, peer-to-peer community
  • Provide and receive information, advice and support in overcoming the stigma of a criminal record
  • Share positive experiences and inspirational stories.

How might you benefit from updated theForum?

The members/supporters who responded to our survey wanted an updated forum to have a more modern look and be more user-friendly. Many felt that there should be no restrictions on the types of offences which could be discussed. We have taken all of these points on-board and incorporated them into the update.

theForum can:

  • Provide a supportive community which brings people together who have shared experiences to reduce social isolation
  • Offer you new ways of dealing with particular problems from people who’ve had similar personal experiences
  • Give you the opportunity to become better aware of new and hidden problems that people with convictions face and suggestions for overcoming them.

One of the key requirements of the updated forum was to open up discussion about sexual offences. There’s more about how we’ve done that here.

Starting to use updated forum

Resetting your password

As theForum has been migrated to a new platform, existing users who created an account prior to the 11th July 2016 will need to reset their password to login and use it.

To reset your password:

  1. Visit
  2. Enter your account email address. This will generate a reset password email to the email address you have supplied
  3. Click the unique link within the email you’ve been sent
  4. Submit a new password and save.

You’ll then be able to login using your existing email account address and your new password.

Frequently asked questions

It could be that the email has gone into your junk or spam folder, so have a look there.

If it hasn’t, then it’s more than likely that the email address you’ve provided is not the one which your forum account is registered to. Follow the instructions again using a different email address. If you continue to have difficulties, please email


Let us know what you think

So visit to check it out – we’re keen for feedback, so let us know what you think by emailing


We’ve updated our forum and opened up discussions

We’re delighted to be at the stage where we’ve got our updated forum up and live. There’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to update the platform that the forum runs on to try and make it visually more engaging and easier to use.

Another motivation behind this work was changes that we’d reluctantly made to the forum back in 2013 to restrict discussions relating to sexual offences. Ever since that point, we’d always recognised the importance of the forum in helping people of all conviction types to be aware of their rights and responsibilities and to have the knowledge to enable them to comply with any requirement placed upon them and to seek this information, advice and support in a safe environment.

It’s taken us a lot longer than we’d hoped (mainly because this work coincided with a huge increase in enquiries to our helpline, so we’ve been very stretched for resources) but we think we’re finally there.

As part of the forum update, it was important that we not only address the needs of people with sexual offences but, when considering an update of theForum, we were keen to get as much input from people with convictions as possible. We did this by way of a survey.

Key responses to the survey were:

  • 62% of responders felt that there was a need for an updated, dedicated Unlock forum
  • 76% believed that there should be no restrictions on the type of offences which were discussed on theForum

To  respond to these results, we’ve taken the decision to give theForum a more modern, user-friendly look and, once again, open up discussion around sexual offences.

A specific section has been set up to deal with the issues affecting people convicted of sexual offences (for example notification requirements, SOPO’s, travelling abroad and the sharing of information). This is a private section and only members who’ve been added to it will be able to access or contribute to it.

New members joining theForum will be asked to provide details of the type of offence they were convicted of. Those with a sexual offence will automatically be joined to this section. If you’d prefer not to have access to it and wish to unsubscribe, please email

If you’re an existing member with a conviction for a sexual offence who’s interested in joining this specific section, please email

If you have any questions about any of the above, you can email

Get ready – Our updated forum is on its way!

In April 2015, we decided to update our forum. We asked members and supporters to give us their ideas on how the forum could be improved and we were delighted with the number and quality of the responses we received.

Since then, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes, taking on board the comments and feedback and working on an updated version.

In order to update the existing platforms, we’ve had to take the forum offline for a couple of days. We hope it will be back up and running as soon as possible.

Once it’s back up, we will be contacting all existing members of the forum by email and you’ll be asked to reset your forum password.

We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause, but please bear with us and we hope you think it’ll be worth it.

If you have any questions, you can email


Help us improve our online forum

Now that it’s 7 years old, we are working on giving our forum a bit of an update and we want to hear from people with convictions about what an updated forum would look like, and how it would work.

For those that don’t know, our forum is an online community which was set up to offer people with convictions the opportunity to:-

  • Seek and provide information, peer support, advice, encouragement and experiences about dealing with the ongoing effects of a criminal conviction.
  • Share their views and experiences of living with a criminal record and what needs to change to achieve a fairer and more inclusive society.

We want your ideas of how it can continue meet these objectives, so we’ve put together a survey which has been sent to all forum members, as well as being promoted on our main website and information site.

We’re keen to get as much input from people with convictions as possible, so please share the link with others who may be interested in giving us their opinions.

As a way of saying thank you to contributors, we’re offering a £25 Amazon voucher to one randomly selected survey who provide an email address when completing the survey before 10th July 2015.

All responses that we receive are held confidentially by Unlock and not shared with any third party. More details about our confidentiality policy can be found here.

We want to make sure that our website is as helpful as possible.

Letting us know if you easily found what you were looking for or not enables us to continue to improve our service for you and others.

Was it easy to find what you were looking for?

Thank you for your feedback.

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

Help support us now