For 20 years Unlock has, as an independent charity, provided a voice and support for people who are facing stigma and obstacles because of their criminal record, often long after they have served their sentence. We believe in a society where people can thrive and are not held back by their past. This means a fair and inclusive society that removes unnecessary barriers and supports the reintegration of law-abiding people with a criminal record. Government has an important role to play in finding solutions so that no one is left behind.
We need a fair justice system – one that gives a second chance to people who have served their time and want to make a fresh start. Helping people with convictions to secure employment, support their families and contribute to the economy is one of the best ways of making communities safer. Yet the law as it stands means people are forced to disclose convictions to employers and others for many years – sometimes for the rest of their lives. While in some cases this will be necessary to protect the public, the current approach does little to make our country safer. Instead people are locked out of jobs and opportunities, unable to contribute to society or to achieve their potential because of a criminal record that is effectively a life sentence.
There are over 11 million people with a criminal record and every year we hear from thousands of people held back unnecessarily – locked out of employment, refused home insurance, excluded from higher education and professional membership.
But 2020 can be one of opportunity: to radically rethink the people who have turned their backs on crime can and should have the opportunity to unleash their potential and make a positive contribution to society.
That’s why we’ve published our priorities for government in 2020. We are calling on the government to commit to five priorities to bring about a fresh start for law-abiding people with criminal records:
- Enable a fresh start – Conduct a root and branch review of the criminal record disclosure regime
- Ensure a fresh start – Mend the broken DBS filtering rules
- Encourage a fresh start – Develop a legislative footing for ‘ban the box’
- Energise a fresh start – Incentivise employers to recruit people with convictions
- Embed a fresh start – Protect people from post-sentence discrimination
- Looking to the future: incentivising employment of people with convictions Posted on: Jun 1st, 2020
It’s fair to say 2020 has been a year of major change – and…
- Big news! Two new job vacancies at Unlock Posted on: Jun 1st, 2020
We're excited to announce two new job vacancies. We're looking for…
- May 2020 update on research understanding the influence of an early life criminal record on adult life courses Posted on: May 30th, 2020
Nicola Collett, a PhD student at Keele University, is currently…
- Monthly update - May 2020 Posted on: May 28th, 2020
We've just published our update for May…
- What's the impact of Covid-19 on people with criminal records? Posted on: May 1st, 2020
Covid-19 and the social distancing measures introduced to help…