What we do

Unlock is an independent award-winning national charity that provides a voice and support for people with convictions who are facing stigma and obstacles because of their criminal record, often long after they have served their sentence.

Firstly, we help people. We provide information, advice and support to people with convictions, including running an information site and confidential peer-run helpline. We help practitioners support people with convictions by providing criminal record disclosure training. And we support employers and universities in treating people with criminal records fairly.

Secondly, we advocate for change, working at policy level to address systemic and structural issues. We listen to and consult with people with criminal records, undertake research and produce evidence-based reports to inform policy makers and the public. We challenge bad practice, influence attitudes and speak truth to power. We co-founded and support the Ban the Box campaign and we are pushing to wipe DBS checks clean of old/minor criminal records.

Please help us

There are over 11 million people in the UK with a criminal record.

Unlock helps people overcome past difficulties and move forward with hope to make a positive contribution to society.

There are a number of ways to support us. HELP US NOW! Thank you.

Donate Online





Latest news

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Latest news about criminal records

Catch up on the latest news, articles and media about criminal records by reading our latest posts to Scoop.it!
Find out more about our training courses

Criminal record disclosure training for practitioners

We deliver criminal record disclosure training as open courses and in-house sessions to help front-line practitioners provide accurate, effective advice to people with criminal records. Dates now available for 2019.
See how you can help us in our policy and campaign work

Help us with our policy and campaign work

We're looking for evidence to support key policy issues we're working on, including wiping DBS checks clean of old/minor records, employers that carry out ineligible checks, and the 'google effect'. There are other ways to help too, including writing to your MP and donating to us. See how you can help and get involved.

How we help


We run a number of websites, as well as a helpline, as part of our work...
Visit the information site
The country's most comprehensive source of practical self-help information for people with convictions on a wide range of issues that criminal convictions can affect
Visit the disclosure calculator
An online tool that works out when your convictions are spent and so don't need to be disclosed to most employers and insurers
Visit the online magazine
The online magazine for law-abiding people with convictions - share news, views and personal stories about life with a conviction
Find out more about our helpline
We give confidential peer advice by telephone, email and other ways. We focus on helping people overcome the effects of their criminal record.
Visit the online forum
A self-supporting community for law-abiding people with convictions - share information, advice and experience on moving on with a criminal record.
Visit Recruit!, our website for employers
There's a talent pool of over 10.5 million people that you might be overlooking. People with criminal records make good employees. Make sure you're not missing out. Recruit! is a website from Unlock that supports UK employers to recruit people with convictions and helps them to deal with criminal records fairly.
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