Justice Committee inquiry into youth criminal records – have your say!

We’re pleased that, after joint efforts by Unlock and the Standing Committee for Youth Justice (SCYJ), the Justice Committee has launched a short inquiry into the system governing the disclosure of criminal records in relation to offences committed by people when under 18 years old. Given the Committee’s recent inquiry into young adults in the criminal justice system, the Committee also welcomes views on whether the regime governing disclosure of such criminal records should be extended to apply to records of offences committed by older people, for example up to the ages of 21 or 25.

The inquiry is an opportunity to build on the work we’ve been doing with the SCYJ as part of the ‘Growing up, moving on’ campaign, which was launched in April 2016.

It’s also a good opportunity to explain the disproportionate impact that criminal records have on people that obtain them in early adulthood, and to make the case for this to be reflected in the way disclosure laws operate.

In particular, the Committee welcomes written submissions on:

  • The appropriateness and effectiveness of the statutory framework applying to the disclosure to employers and others of criminal records relating to offences committed by people when under 18 years old
  • whether that framework and the way in which it is operated in practice strike an appropriate balance between protection of employers and the public, on the one hand, and the rehabilitation of people committing offences when young, on the other hand
  • the effects in respect of the disclosure of such records of changes made in 2013 to the filtering of offences from criminal records checks and in 2014 to rehabilitation periods.

The deadline is Friday 11th November 2016.

What can you do?

It’s important that as many individuals and organisations put forward their evidence, comments and experiences on the disclosure of youth criminal records. This is the best way to help the Committee to understand the extent of the issue.

In particular, we think it’s extremely important that the inquiry receives evidence from those people with personal experience of having a criminal record from when they were young. For those who find that it continues to hold them back, or created a significant barrier to them moving on, these personal stories can help MP’s on the Committee to understand the problem and identify what needs to change.

We’re in the process of putting together a response, so if you’re planning to submit evidence to the Committee, please let us know and send us copies of the evidence you submit. Email policy@unlock.org.uk.

 

Further information

Details about the Justice Committee inquiry are on the Parliament website.

Details about our policy work on rehabilitation periods.

Details about our policy work on filtering.

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