Press & Media - Reformed offenders - Opportunities
All current opportunities are featured in the latest issue of theRecord. To receive notification of opportunities when they arise, please sign up to receive theRecord.
Job opportunities at User Voice
Details below feature some exciting opportunities at the ex-offender charity User Voice. The same details can also be downloaded here.
Youth Programmes Manager – Part-Time 20 Hours (London, South East and South West)
Assistant Youth Programmes Manager – Part-Time 20 Hours (North based including Yorkshire, North West and North East)
User Voice exists to reduce reoffending by presenting the voice of offenders and ex-offenders to decision makers in the criminal justice system. They establish and support Prison, Probation, Youth and Community Councils; undertake projects which enable agencies to access and act upon the insights of offenders; and present the case for service user engagement to a wide range of key audiences.
Following the success of the ‘What’s Your Story?’ national consultation with young offenders across England and Wales, User Voice are seeking to appoint a Part-Time (20 hours per week) Youth Programmes Manager based in London and leading on our ‘What’s Your Story’ youth programmes across London, the South East and South West and a Part-Time (20 hours per week) Assistant Youth Programmes Manager based in the North and leading on our ‘What’s Your Story’ youth programmes across Yorkshire and Humber, North West and North East of England.
This is a fantastic opportunity to work in an innovative and growing charity. User Voice are looking for dynamic, authentic, inspiring and creative individuals to join the youth team. A background in working with excluded young people is advantageous (but not essential) as is an ability to demonstrate how the post holders’ own life experience can support engagement work with young people. The post will require some desk based administrative work supporting the co-ordination, pre-planning and evaluation of youth programmes and leading on and assisting with the facilitation and support work with young people directly.
We particularly welcome applications from ex-offenders and from all sections of the community regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability. User Voice are committed to Safe Working Practices across the organisation that promote the welfare and safeguarding of children and young people.
For the full job description, person specification and application details, email Amie-Rose Long at email@example.com
Applicants for the post should send a CV and a statement of their suitability for the role to Anne-Marie Douglas, User Voice, 20 Newburn Street, London, SE11 5PJ or firstname.lastname@example.org. The statement should set out the applicant’s experience and suitability in relation to each point of the Person Specification.
Deadline for applications: NOON 25TH MAY 2012
Please note potential interview date: 30th MAY 2012
June 2011: CRB Advice - Your contributions needed
Your views are sought for a new information and advice document.
A Briefing Paper on the CRB, published by UNLOCK last year, highlighted concerns over the way the process was being abused by many employers. You can read the Briefing Paper here.
UNLOCK is now putting together guidance for individuals with criminal convictions on how the CRB process works.
Your views are sought on what should be in the new guidance.
As a starting point, the guidance is likely to include information on; the different types of checks, what positions are eligible for checks at what level and what information is disclosed on them.
However, UNLOCK is looking for specific questions from members, which can be answered in the document. Questions will need to relate to how the current system works, or should work, rather than to how the system could be better.
December 2010: Opportunity – Media story on Illegal CRB checks – We need your help!
We’ve been in discussions with a journalist who works for the BBC in the South East, and she is looking to do a short-piece in January 2010 on illegal CRB checks. See below more detail on what she is doing.
“I am a journalist for the BBC and I'm currently working on a story about illegal CRB checks in the public sector. From the Freedom of Information requests I've submitted I've discovered that many local borough and town councils in the south east of England are carrying out unlawful checks. My report looks at why by carrying out indiscriminate CRB checks, public bodies are breaking the law. I believe this is a very different angle from the usual press coverage CRB checks receive. It is not about perceived infringements of civil liberties but about how illegal CRB checks undermine the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
I plan on speaking to employment lawyers, UNLOCK and local borough councils. I will also look at speaking to the Home Office who are currently carrying out reviews into the Criminal Records Bureau. I think this is an incredibly important story to tell, however it loses its impact if it doesn't get the viewpoint of someone who has been effected by illegal CRB checks. With one in every four of the working population holding a standard conviction, unlawful CRB checks affect a vast majority of people; my problem is making people care about that. I need to be able to show the audience that the practice of indiscriminate CRB checks has a significant impact on a huge number people.
I would very much like to speak to someone with a spent conviction(s) about illegal CRB checks. Ideally I would like to speak to someone who has applied for a public sector job (preferably in Kent and East Sussex) and has been CRB checked illegally. The very nature of this story means people are, understandably, anxious about talking to the press and although I would like to speak to someone on camera I would be happy to disguise voices and faces if it was necessary. I am looking to film this piece in January.”
Thanks for your help!
October 2010: Photography Project – We need your help
We have received contact from a member, Hannah. She has past criminal convictions herself, but is now in the final year of a degree in photography. She is using one of her projects to create some images that UNLOCK can have and control usage rights of.
The aims of the project are:
- To produce high quality images that reflect the work of UNLOCK
- To produce images that challenge stereotypes/discrimination and provide positive messages
- To collaborate with members and the UNLOCK team in developing some online campaigns to raise awareness.
She has some ideas of advertising style photographs that she will share with members and ask for feedback on, but she is also really keen to have ideas and suggestions from members of the sort of images they would like to see represent them as reformed offenders.
We are aware of the potential implications for members being personally identified as having previous convictions, so she is happy to use models - as do many charities - in any photographs.
She is also keen for many members who have talents that could support this project to contribute, not just in concepts and ideas but in writing, artistic design and graphics.
We have set up a specific discussion on the Members’ forum in the first instance, so if you have any thoughts, ideas or opinions, or want to get involved, please do contribute.
October 2010: Consultation on the first ever UK code of practice on data sharing launched by the Information Commissioner – Have your say
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched its consultation on the Data sharing code of practice. This code explains how the Data Protection Act 1998 applies to the sharing of personal data. It also provides good practice advice that will be relevant to all organisations that share personal data.
The code is aimed at any organisation involved in the sharing of personal data. Organisations should use this code to help them to understand how to adopt good practice. While some parts of the code are necessarily focussed on sector-specific issues, the majority of the good practice recommendations will apply to all data sharing regardless of its context and scale.
You can download the code of practice consultation paper here.
To respond to this consultation, you need to download the consultation questions and then send your response by email to email@example.com by 5th January 2011.
Alternatively you can send your response by letter to: Policy Delivery, ICO, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Why is this consultation important?
- Details of criminal convictions are regarded as ‘sensitive personal data’ under the Data Protection Act 1998.
- People with criminal convictions are quite understandably concerned about who has access to their criminal convictions, who it can be shared with, and what their rights are
- This consultation is looking to develop a Code of Practice on data sharing.
- We need to make sure that people with convictions are able to raise their concerns about the way information is shared between organisations, and that the Code of Practice prevents misuse of criminal conviction information.
- Issues - such as employers requesting Police Subject Access Requests, making such requests on your behalf, employers telling other employers about things they are not entitled to know, the police disclosing information to other organisations that they shouldn’t – all of these need to be raised to make sure that the ICO
We will be putting together our own response to this consultation, to ensure that, when devising the Code of Practice, consideration is giving to specifically the issue of sharing criminal conviction information.
October 2010: Sentencing Council Consultation on Assault
On 13 October 2010, the Sentencing Council launched a 12 week consultation proposing changes to the guidelines that judges and magistrates use to sentence people for offences of assault.
The Sentencing Council has published a draft guideline, a full consultation paper intended for criminal justice professionals, a shorter public consultation paper, a resource assessment and an equality impact assessment. An online questionnaire will follow shortly.
If you are a member of the public and would like to read or respond to the consultation:
• Assault – public consultation
If you are a criminal justice professional (including a member of the judiciary) and would like to read or respond to the consultation:
• Assault – professional consultation
Other useful documents:
• Assault – draft guideline
• Assault – resource assessment
• Assault – equality impact assessment
The closing date for response is 5 January 2011. You can send your responses by email, or by post to Nigel Patrick, Office of the Sentencing Council, Steel House, 11 Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9LJ.
October 2010: Apply to become an UNLOCK Trustee - CLOSED
We are seeking new Trustees, including a Chair and Treasurer.
Our vision is of a society in which reformed offenders are able to fulfil their positive potential through equal opportunities, rights and responsibilities.
Driven by the needs of reformed offenders, UNLOCK works to reduce crime by helping them overcome the social exclusion and discrimination that prevents them from successfully reintegrating into society.
UNLOCK empowers reformed offenders to break down barriers to reintegration by offering practical advice, support, information, knowledge and skills. We campaign for legislative, policy and wider social change as well working to increase reformed offenders’ participation, power and influence in decision making.
Although small in size, the charity has an impressive reach and impact at the most senior levels in the criminal justice system, government, the media and private financial sector, and we are ambitious to build on our past success to reach new objectives.
We are looking for new trustees with the skills, experience, energy and ideas to ensure sound governance and oversee our plans to achieve better opportunities and rights. We especially welcome applications from people with past criminal convictions.
These are voluntary positions, though travel expenses are payable.
June 2010: Ex-prisoners in Weymouth and the South West wanted for mentoring with the Princes Trust
The Princes Trust is expanding its one-to-one young offenders programme, which links young prisoners with reformed adults for support and inspiration. They are looking for former prisoners who have turned their lives around to volunteer to help young people break the cycle of reoffending. Volunteer supporters are expected to give motivational talks, write letters to the young people in prison, and meet them at the prison gate upon release, if requested. They then meet up with them for six months in the community. They would like to hear from any former prisoners from Weymouth in particular, or in the South West, who think that they can offer support as a mentor. Volunteer supporters must be reformed prisoners and have been free from criminal activity and substance misuse for at least 2 years.
March 2010: UNLOCK/Prison Reform Trust survey on the impact of a criminal conviction on finances
We need your input and views on a research project that we are carrying out with the Prison Reform Trust on the financial issues that reformed offenders and their families face. This is your opportunity to have your say. The more responses the get, the stronger the research will be. Now is the time to act. More information can be found earlier in this e-newsletter.
The survey links:
Family members - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RYGPMRG
UNLOCK members with a conviction but haven’t been to prison - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CF33N5V
Repeat of survey for former prisoners - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZYC8KPK
March 2010: Government consultations on the Vetting & Barring Scheme and the Criminal Records Bureau
The Department for Children, Schools & Families (DCSF) have this month launched two consultations relating the vetting.
We encourage UNLOCK members to respond directly to these consultations with any views that you have. However, we also plan to respond to both consultations, and would welcome any views or comments you have to put forward to us to help inform our response.
Consultation 1 - Public Consultation on continuing need for a controlled activity category in the Vetting and Barring Scheme Launch Date: Tuesday 23 March 2010, Closing Date: Thursday 17 June 2010
“The Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) includes a category of controlled activity in relation to children or vulnerable adults, comprising posts in the Further Education, health-care, and Local Authority sectors. This consultation asks for views on whether the Government should propose in the medium term to reduce this category in the VBS or remove it entirely, by moving some posts into regulated activity, and removing others from regulation by the VBS.”
In essence, the introduction of ISA registration will, from July requires anybody doing ‘regulated activity’ to register with the ISA. As you can see from our VBS paper above, this will cause issues for many reformed offenders, not least because there is the potential for the ISA to bar people with previous convictions and, once ISA registration is needed, it also allows an employer to carry out a CRB check, which will provide your full conviction history. If you are barred, it will be illegal for you to work in regulated activity. Regulated activity is anticipated to cover 9 million people in the UK.
However, there is a further category of work called ‘controlled activity’. This is expected to cover around 500,000 positions. In these roles, ISA registration will be required, but no CRB check will be carried out unless you are barred. If you are barred, the employer will have the option to employ you with appropriate safeguards.
This consultation draws upon Sir Roger Singletons review of December 2009 and seeks views as to whether the definition of ‘controlled activity’ is needed. Our understand it is the plan of government to regard most ‘controlled activity’ as ‘regulated activity’. This has consequences for reformed offenders.
Consultation 2 - Consultation on statutory requirements and advice, for CRB disclosures for safeguarding purposes, on workers already registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority Launch Date: Tuesday 23 March 2010, Closing Date: Wednesday 16 June 2010
“The existing statutory requirements and Government advice for CRB disclosures for safeguarding purposes, in relation to workers who will, in the future, be already registered with the ISA under the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS). This consultation asks for views on whether the Government should propose to amend requirements, or should amend recommendations, in some of these cases.”
This consultation looks to question whether there is a continuing need for a statutory requirement to undertake a CRB check for positions that are subject to ISA registration. Note that this consultation only looks at the statutory requirements, and not the statutory ability, to carry out a CRB check. It seems that there is no current intention to actively prevent employers whose positions are subject to ISA registration from undertaking a CRB check.
If you intend to respond to either of the consultations, you may find the following documents useful:
• UNLOCK’s Briefing Paper on the Criminal Records Bureau
• Vetting & Barring Scheme – Issues raised by reformed offenders
March 2010: The Griffins Society Research Fellowships Programme - Women offenders: a unique research opportunity The closing date for applications is 28 April 2010
The Griffins Society have informed us how they would very much like to make this Fellowship Programme more available to those with personal experience of the criminal justice system, and so we offered to try and generate some interest. Details are below.
“Do you want to undertake a research project about a women’s issue that concerns you? If you have a strong interest in women offenders, a Griffins Research Fellowship could provide the opportunity you have been looking for.
Griffins Research Fellows progress their research project alongside their employment. They receive academic support from the Society and from the London School of Economics. The Society provides a small research grant and we help with getting Fellows’ research reports published at the end of the Fellowship. Fellowships last one year: previous research experience and a degree are not necessary, though applicants must be capable of studying and writing at or near degree level.
Griffins Fellowship research is influential, so if you are passionate about the need for more effective criminal justice engagement with women offenders, this is your chance to help shape the future. For more information about the Griffins Society Research Fellowships Programme and how to apply for a Fellowship, visit the Griffins web site www.thegriffinssociety.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for applications is 28 April 2010.”
February 2010: "Jailbrake" weekend, London - 26th-28th of March
Jailbrake is a competition to find great ideas that could break the cycle of youth offending using simple web and mobile tools. Mobile phones are a great way to reach young people who are otherwise seen as ‘hard to reach’. Ideas include helping more young people access services and support or giving them a way of staying safe.
The successful ideas will be turned into reality at the Jailbrake weekend, which will be attended by technology experts, designers and front line workers, split into teams to work on different ideas. Jailbrake would like to have an UNLOCK member on each team, who is able to share their personal experience, ideas and basically to tell people whether the ideas will work in the real world!
The weekend is 26th-28th of March in Bethnal Green, London. Jailbrake have a small budget to assist with travel and accommodation costs. If you would like to enter your own idea, the deadline is 5th March.
For further information please email email@example.com or call 020 8980 8435 or visit www.jailbrake.org
January 2010: UNLOCK survey of former prisoners on financial exclusion – we need your help
You may remember that back in July 2009 we asked for your help on a research project. We’re working with the Prison Reform Trust to look at how contact with the criminal justice system creates financial exclusion, such as difficulties getting insurance or increased debt. We’re hoping that the findings from the research will help to change the policies and practices of both government and financial services organisations. We have now conducted the first part of the research, which involved asking serving prisoners.
If you are a former prisoner, this is now your opportunity to contribute your views. They survey is designed to find out more about how reformed offenders and their families have been affected financially by a prison sentence. For some questions, we have added blank spaces where you can type in an explanation. You can also skip any question you do not wish to answer. It takes about 20 minutes to complete. The survey ends on the 12th of February, 2010. This is a confidential questionnaire - we do not need your name and no names will be quoted in our report. To take part in the survey, visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZYC8KPK.
January 2010: Review of Prisoner Complaints Process by NOMS Back to top
UNLOCK have received contact from the Safer Custody Unit in NOMS, as they are embarking on a review of the prisoner complaints process. They are looking at the possibility of separating 'applications' from the request and complaints process as set out in PSO 2510, the content of the PSO, the feasibility and affordability of reducing the number of stages from 3 to 2 that a prisoner must go through before he/she is able to seek to involve the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman etc.
So far, they have collected data from establishments about the volume of complaints being received and the numbers that reach stage three of the process, and have also sought establishments views on how they believe the existing process could be improved. NOMS have asked us if we have any views or comments on how the current prisoner complaints policy and procedures could be improved.
However, we are currently in discussions with NOMS to see what steps they are taking to consult directly with prisoners and former prisoners. Clearly, people with experience of the process are the ones that are best placed to say how it should be improved. We will therefore keep you all up to date on our progress, but in the meantime we would value your contributions and experiences of the prisoner complaints procedure, what you think is wrong with it, and how you think it could be improved.
January 2010: Retention of criminal records – Your views needed for UNLOCK meeting with Home Office (4th February) Back to top
In November’s e-newsletter, we highlighted the Home Office review into the retention of criminal records. For more on this, and for the Terms of Reference of the review, visit http://www.unlock.org.uk/staticpage.aspx?pid=76.
UNLOCK wrote to the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson MP, in October 2009 to ask them what efforts they had taken to gather the thoughts of those who would be most affected by any changes (i.e. people with past convictions). We are therefore due to attend a roundtable meeting next Thursday. Since October, many of you have come to us giving us your thoughts on the retention of criminal conviction information and how the ending of the step-down process (mentioned above in the MPS FoI response) will have a huge impact on your lives. We want to gather as much evidence of these issues as possible in advance of next Thursday’s meeting.
January 2010: Your views on changes to relevant offences when applying for a personal license under the Licensing Act 2003 Back to top
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport are current consulting on their proposals to add a number of types of convictions to the ones that they take into account when somebody makes an application for a personal licence (which covers the sale and supply of alcohol, public entertainment theatre, cinema, late night refreshment and late night cafes). They want views on whether the new offences are appropriate and whether any existing offences should be removed.
In particular, they are consulting on whether to include failure to cooperate with a preliminary test when driving and those offences of conspiracy or attempt which are capable of being committed in connection with the existing relevant offences. For example, theft is an existing relevant offence and they are proposing to add the offences of conspiracy and attempt to commit theft. They consider that the proposed additions are not contentious but rather strive to ensure a consistent approach to the relevant offences. They have apparently received considerable support for these proposals and are now seeking the opinions of a wider spectrum of those who may be affected.
UNLOCK have been in contact with the DCMS on what they have done so far to consult with people with past convictions. In the meantime, we wanted to raise this consultation to the attention of our members so that if you would be affected by these changes, or if you have any contributions to make, you have the opportunity to respond. You can download details of the consultation by visiting http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6516.aspx. The closing date is the 12th March 2010. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 2010: 2 pairs of free tickets for UNLOCK members to a London play about a prisoner and prison officer at HMP Wandsworth Back to top
SLAVES is a new play by Rex Obano that looks at life on both sides of the prison bars set in HMP Wandsworth. Chris, a young and ambitious black prison officer, is committed to reforming the system, and the play centers on his relationship with an inmate who he used to be at school with which spirals dangerously out of control. It opened on the 26th January at Theatre503 in Battersea, London, and they have a special first week ticket offer of just £5 (until 3rd February). An e-flyer with more information is below.
However, UNLOCK have been given two pairs of free tickets to give away to UNLOCK members, which can be used on any show up to and including the 7th February.
December 2009: Consultation on Home Office Diversity Strategy and Equality Scheme Back to top
The Home Office has recently written to UNLOCK with the following: "I am writing to seek your involvement in helping us ensure that the department continues to shape policy and deliver services in a way that meets the needs of all people. The Home Office is refreshing its current diversity strategy and its equality scheme; a new strategy and equality scheme is due to be published around April 2010. I would welcome your contribution to enable the strategy to be as comprehensive as possible. I have attached a questionnaire [download here] on which you can provide any thoughts on our work." This is a good opportunity to make the case for why the Home Office should acknowledge the importance of people with past convictions within their equality scheme. Would you be able to make a submission? If so, the closing date is Friday 8th January 2010. Contributions need to be sent to Adrian.Treharne@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
December 2009: Contribute to research into the discrimination that people with criminal records face in the employment process Back to top
UNLOCK have been approached by a student undertaking some research. The overall aim of this research is to explore whether people with criminal records are victims of discriminatory attitudes and practices within the employment process. The main objectives of the research will be to:
- Outline and discuss theories and literature which surround the issues associated with the relationship between having a criminal record and employability
- Analyse the attitudes of ex offenders
- Suggest potential practice and policy developments based views around what is needed
To achieve the aims and objectives, the researcher wishes to carry out face to face interviews with 6-10 individuals and would be extremely grateful if any UNLOCK members were willing to contribute. The questions will focus mainly on your experiences when seeking employment.
December 2009: BBC Documentary looking for mothers of young offenders Back to top
The BBC is hoping to make a documentary looking at how serious youth crime affects parents. For their research, they'd like to learn more about what it’s like to be the mother of a teenager who’s been imprisoned for a violent crime. No filming is required. They are researching the topic and would like to have a quick chat with those with personal experiences of parenting when dealing with youth crime. What emotional and practical obstacles did you face? They are looking for parents of young offenders who were 15-21 at the time of the incident who were convicted of a serious crime.
November 2009: Research into the support available to ex-offenders in South Wales Back to top
We have been approached by a Postgraduate student in Broadcast Journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism. They are doing a radio feature about an initiative in South Wales which aims to provide Muslim ex-offenders with chaplaincy support once they leave prison. It's in response to a growing number of Muslim prisoners and the fact that they don't receive any support once they go back into their communities. They are looking for case studies from the South Wales area that are be willing to speak to them.
October 2009: ITV 'Tonight' programme looking for contributors on the insurance issue Back to top
As you may have seen, we've finally managed to get some quality national media coverage on the insurance issue. The BBC documentary we did has resulted in lots of press coverage, including the front page of the Metro. There is also additional interest from the TV companies. The ITV 'Tonight' programme (formerly with Trevor McDonald) want to do a 30 minute programme highlighting the unfair treatment of people with convictions by insurance companies.
Below is the email they have sent to UNLOCK, explaining what they are looking for. Essentially, they are looking for people with minor convictions who have faced insurance problems as a result. We've explained that the vast majority of people in this situation will not want to publicize their past and that we are happy to contribute on people's behalf. However, they feel that without real life stories, there isn't really a programme.
START OF EMAIL
"We are making a documentary for the TONIGHT with Trevor McDonald series on ITV about people who have had HOME INSURANCE claims turned down because they failed to disclose they held an unspent conviction or caution.
There are estimated to be around 7.3 million people in the UK with criminal convictions, and many do not realise that even the most minor of offences could affect their cover. Even the most minor of offences could mean a policy is void and a claim would be rejected. We feel this is an important issue and are asking for help finding case studies that can publicise it further.
We are looking for people who have had an insurance claim turned down because of an unspent conviction (however minor) or caution.
Do you have something to say about the fact that these previous offences have absolutely no bearing on any claims being made, yet insurance companies can potentially use them as a reason to reject claims made by you as a policy holder in good faith? Would the initial offence seem to most people so insignificant/unrelated that you would never have thought it could have any relevance to the validity of an insurance policy?
I'd like to speak to anyone who has experienced any problems with their insurance matching this description.
Ben Smith | Current Affairs - Editorial | ITV plc"
END OF EMAIL
He also provided further information as below:
START OF EMAIL
"As discussed, we've just started production on a special episode for the Tonight series at ITV focusing on problems people have had with insurance policies and "non-disclosure" of relatively minor unspent criminal convictions. The programme will broadcast on 30th November and has a running time of around half an hour - meaning we're in the fortunate position of being able to go into this important issue in far more depth than most news items. As the highest rating current affairs programme on British TV we should be able to bring a lot of attention to a problem that potentially affects millions of people. I think the public would be intrigued to learn how minor and seemingly unrelated infringements could affect their insurance policies.
We are trying to find people who have had issues with, or concerns about, their insurance that relate to non-disclosure. Michelle Barber's case is an excellent example of the kind of incident we would be interested in featuring in the programme.
We'd also really appreciate any help you could give us with finding other relevant case studies. We're especially interested in how this issue may affect private individuals - people who have convictions which are unspent, but that are so innocuous and seemingly minor that they would never imagine them having any kind of impact on their insurance policies. We'd be particularly interested in speaking to someone who has received a fine / fixed penalty notice (for being drunk and disorderly etc) rather than someone at the opposite end of the criminal scale because it is these relatively minor offences that appear to be causing the most confusion - people do not necessarily consider them to be 'convictions' and thus have no idea that they have to declare them.
We'd also be extremely interested in talking to people who do not have any unspent convictions themselves but live with someone who does (someone who might have broken the terms of their ASBO or been convicted of a drink driving offence etc). These people are not the named policy holders and their offences have absolutely no bearing on any claims being made yet insurance companies are using them as a reason to reject claims and effectively punish the innocent home owner / policy holder.
Finally, we'd also be interested in speaking with people who are simply concerned about unspent convictions. An example of this might be someone who has a teenage son or daughter who received a fine for a minor public order offence whilst at university and even though they have not yet made any claims on their home insurance, they are still concerned that this will void their current policy when their child returns to the family home at the end of their course.
Logistically, we'd need to do the following with any case studies
1) A quick research call to find the details of their story.
2) Schedule a day for filming where we would perform an interview and some accompanying shots to help illustrate this story. This would take no more than a 3-4 hours and could be arranged at a convenient time for the person involved. We'd be looking to do this at some point during the weeks commencing 2nd or 9th November.
If you could help in any way I'd really appreciate it.
Ben Smith | Current Affairs - Editorial | ITV plc"
END OF EMAIL
October 2009: BBC1's My Story competition - a chance to win £20,000 Back to top
BBC have contacted UNLOCK to make us aware of a competition they are running called My Story. There will be 5 winners, each winning a book deal with a cash advance of £20,000. The closing date for applications is 16th December 2009. All applications are to be made via the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/mystory
To download a flyer about this competition, click here
This is not a writing competition - it is all about finding extraordinary true stories.
Feel free to discuss this competition on the specific thread on the UNLOCK Discussion Forum
October 2009: Have you any experience of mentoring and befriending? Back to top
UNLOCK’s Chief Executive, Bobby Cummines, has been involved in a piece of work being undertaken by Skills for Justice on trying to establish National Occupational Standards (NOS) for mentoring and befriending, with a focus on mentoring of offenders and those at risk of offending.
There is a consultation which is looking for contributions, and it is important that people with past convictions, and those with direct experience of mentoring and befriending, from both sides of the fence so to speak, have the opportunity to contribute.
The consultation summary can downloaded by clicking here. For more information about this work being undertaken by Skills for Justice, visit their website at www.skillsforjustice.com/MBNOS
September 2009: Call for submissions from ex-prisoners by Prisoners' Education Trust Back to top
The Prisoners' Education Trust are looking for ex-prisoners to get pieces written by prisoners and ex-prisoners who have received help and support while in custody. For more information, see the below flyer.
September 2009: Job Opportunity - Community Chaplaincy Back to top
Closing date: 5th October 2009, Salary: circa. £21,000, pro rata for 16 hrs per week
The Community Chaplaincy works to help reduce the risk of re-offending by supporting the resettlement of offenders. It does so by providing a befriending service for prisoners prior to, and upon their release.
For more information contact Community Chaplaincy, c/o West London Workers Trust, St Paul’s Church, Ealing, Ridley Avenue, London, W13 9XW. T: 020 8579 9444, email@example.com
To apply for this position, you can download the relevant documents below:
August 2009: Do you have a family member in prison due to be released in September/October? Would you like to take part in a documentary? Back to top
UNLOCK have been approached by Ginger Productions, who are doing a documentary series on the difficulties that families face with family members in prison, as well as the problems on release. Ginger Productions is a small independent company.
August 2009: Your views on drug treatment in prison (through the Prison Drug Treatment Strategy Review Group) - closing date 10 September 2009 Back to top
The PDTSRG are looking for the views of former prisoners who have experience of drug treatment in prison to help them formulate an updated strategy for future treatment. They have asked UNLOCK if we could pubicise this work, as they are keen to ensure that the views of those who actually make use of drug treatment are actually represented.
To put your views across, you can view the questionnaire which they are looking for answers to by downloading it here. Alternatively, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.
An Overview of the PDTSRG
In 2008, Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford was asked by Ministers to chair an independent review group tasked with overseeing a programme of work to consider the recommendations of the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) report, Review of Prison-Based Drug Treatment Funding. Since being invited to chair the Prison Drug Treatment Strategy Review Group (PDTSRG), Lord Patel has visited a number of prisons to canvas the views of staff and people in prison and to help inform the membership of the Review Group. The membership of the PDTSRG is based on the knowledge, expertise and experience that each individual can bring to the group. The PDTSRG will look at the quality, availability and fairness of drug treatment in prison. It will also look at whether the same quality of drug treatment is available in all prisons. A website has been launched to keep people informed of the progress of the group. Documents from the meetings, news updates from Lord Patel, a list of the membership of the group and a forum are available at www.pdtsrg.co.uk.
An important part of the PDTSRG is service users' drug treatment experience and drug treatment journey, particularly from prison into the community and between prisons. So that the views of service users, their family and carers can help inform the work and direction of the Review Group questionnaires and forum scripts have been widely distributed to service user, family and carer groups and people in prison. People can contribute by filling in a questionnaire and sending it back by the 10 September 2009. The views collected from this initial piece of work may help inform the direction of PDTSRG and potentially help shape the future of drug treatment in prison. The PDTSRG will keep people informed of other consultation events that will occur throughout the review.
August 2009: Synergy Theatre Project - Tales of the Unexpected - closing date 10 September 2009 Back to top
Synergy Theatre have asked UNLOCK to publicise the below project. It is a great opportunity for former prisoners to take part in what sounds like a fantastic project.
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