Unlock

Criminal justice professionals are well aware that employment is often the key to desistance from crime and that those with a criminal record can find it extremely difficult to find work – even when their offending is minor or not likely to impinge on their chosen employment in any way.

Unlock is an independent, award-winning charity for people with convictions which exists for two simple reasons.

  1. To assist people to move on positively with their lives by empowering them with information, advice and support to overcome the stigma of their previous convictions.
  2. To promote a fairer and more inclusive society by challenging discriminatory practices and promoting socially just alternatives.

Well respected in the criminal justice field, Unlock has recently launched a new campaign using YouTube interviews with individuals who have faced considerable difficulties in finding work because of their criminal convictions.

Each story highlights different key issues in a much more powerful way than a simple case study or report as you can see below.

Honesty not always the best policy

Ban the box

 

The importance of specialist support

 

Conclusion

The power of people telling their own stories in their own words is plain to see.

It is much easier for employers to think about offenders or criminals as a homogeneous mass of ne’er do wells, rather than individuals who have made mistakes in their life.

Since they are 10 million individuals in the UK with a criminal record, employers need to think twice before excluding such a large proportion of potential new recruits.

 

2 Responses

  1. It’s also essential that disclosure of criminal convictions be limited to the end of the licence period (apart from possibly murder/sex crimes) so that once the licence period is ended people do not have to disclose convictions even if not spent (as any term of imprisonment of 4 yrs + currently is) making it easier for them to move forwards with their lives.

    And talking of which it’s ridiculous that a conviction of 4 yrs + is never considered spent when you can end up with a sentence of that length for a relative minor non violent crime given the trend for ever harsher sentences.

    Both of these issues should be relooked at by Gove otherwise his declaration that people should not be forever judged on their worst moment/mistake is hollow and meaningless without direct action to resolve these crucial issues

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