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Unlock wins ‘outstanding national organisation’ at CJA Awards

Last night we were delighted to win the award for ‘Outstanding National Organisation’ at the Criminal Justice Alliance awards. 

The online awards ceremony celebrated the amazing work of inspiring individuals and organisations working across the criminal justice system, in what has been a particularly challenging year. It was an honour for Unlock to even be nominated alongside such dedicated people doing incredible and essential work. You can find out about all the nominees in the awards brochure. 

This award comes towards the end of what has been a big year at Unlock, and recognises some achievements we’re really proud of. These include hard won changes to the DBS ‘filtering’ system which take effect this weekend, the launch of the #FairChecks movement and 18 trailblazing universities signing up to our ‘Fair Chance for Students with Convictions’ pledge.  

We’re really proud of our small but ambitious team of staff and volunteers who have risen to every challenge during the pandemic, and whose dedication and hard work has made these achievements possible.  

A common theme across the speeches during the awards ceremony was giving power and a voice to those who are often unheard, which we will continue to strive to doAccepting our award, Unlock Co-director Christopher Stacey said: 

“I want to thank our amazing staff team, our volunteers, our trustees, our funders – but most importantly, the people with criminal records that help us do the work that we need to do, which is to fight for them and to remove the stigma that they face.”

The judges said:

“Unlock is doing fantastic work for the rehabilitation of offenders. Their work is clearly changing lives. It enables people to move on with their lives and reintegrate into society. The legal changes they have influenced will help so many people gain employment and will ultimately help to prevent reoffending.

“Unlock are a charity set up by people with lived experience of prisons. They have campaigned for many years for a fairer system of criminal record disclosure, aiming to give people a better chance to change their lives. Their careful and determined actions through legal and political avenues are now paying dividends. They have laid a path that is leading to a fairer deal for people with past criminal convictions.”

You can watch our award announcement below, and catch up on the whole ceremony on the CJA’s YouTube channel.


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

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