Here we set out the key issues we’re focusing on as part of our policy and campaign work.

Separately, we’ve set out our priorities for government.


Ban the Box – We co-founded this campaign in 2013 with Business in the Community and others. It calls on employers not to take a tick box approach to recruitment, to remove the criminal record tick box from application forms, and ask about candidates’ criminal convictions later if they need to. It links closely with our fair access to employment project. We also have a section about this on our website for employers.

Clean Slate – We are pushing for the government to reform the system of disclosing old and minor criminal records. Find out more.

Core issues

1. Pushing for further reform of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

2. Challenging the DBS ‘filtering’ process as it doesn’t go far enough

3. Supporting and challenging employers in how they treat people with convictions

4. Stopping unlawful/ineligible DBS checks

5. Improving how the Disclosure & Barring Service works for people with criminal records

6. Stopping the sharing of spent motoring convictions by the DVLA

7. Stopping the ‘google-effect’ for people with spent convictions

8. Scrapping the ‘Disqualification by association’ regulations that apply to primary schools and other non-domestic childcare settings

9. Enabling people with convictions to become trustees and run charities

10. Stopping enforced subject access requests

11. Stopping misleading questions asked by employers, insurers, housing providers and others

12. Promoting fair admission policies and practices by universities and colleges

13. Improving support for individuals with a criminal record to secure meaningful employment

14. Ensuring fair treatment by insurance companies

15. Maintaining access to open a basic account before release from prison

16. Encouraging fair treatment by housing providers

Other areas of interest

We get involved in other areas of policy where there is a link to our work. Although we don’t have dedicated policy pages for these, we tag any news or posts and these are brought together with the links below.

  1. BChildhood criminal records – This relates to the work we’ve been doing with the Standing Committee for Youth Justice on changes to the laws surrounding the disclosure of youth criminal records.
  2. Youth criminal records – This includes our work with the Justice Committee in 2016/17 and our Unlocking Experience project.
  3. Prison reform – This includes reforms to prisons being taken forward by government.
  4. Prison education – This includes the review undertaken by Dame Sally Coates, which started in 2015.
  5. Transforming Rehabilitation – This relates to the split of probation into the National Probation Service (NPS, for high-risk individuals) and the privatisation of services to manage medium and low-risk individuals through Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC’s).
  6. Wipetheslateclean – This campaign was launched by Bob Ashford and is supported by Unlock.

Longer list of policy issues

Although the links above relate to issues that we’re currently focusing on, there is also a longer list of policy issues that we have an interest in and as part of our ‘ear to the ground, voice at the top‘, we are always keen to receive experiences and evidence of other issues people are facing as a result of their criminal record.

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