“A fair and inclusive society where people with convictions can move on positively in their lives”
To help people overcome the long-term disadvantages caused by their criminal convictions, and work with government, employers and others to enable people to move on positively in their lives.
- People moving on positively in their lives – individuals have the knowledge, skills, confidence and support to overcome the long-term disadvantages caused by their convictions.
- A fairer and more inclusive society – government, employers and others have policies, practices and attitudes that support fair treatment of people with convictions.
Unlock in brief
- Unlock is a charity founded by a group of former prisoners who wanted to use their experience so that people with convictions would have better opportunities to move on in their lives.
- We support those who have desisted from crime to live a law-abiding life.
- We believe people want to lead a positive life and when opportunity unleashes their potential they contribute great things. The ultimate solutions to crime lay in social, not criminal justice. Desistance from crime is by-product of a complex long-term process of identity change and the achievement of potential.
- We focus on the long-term disadvantage of convictions, impacting on individuals and their families, organisations and communities, and society.
- We work in partnership, and with volunteers, to achieve outcomes at both the individual and systemic level.
Why are we needed?
- Society asks ‘criminals’ to become productive citizens; get education, find work, support their family and pay tax. People who reform themselves seek to do this.
- Law abiding people with convictions face long-term discrimination and exclusion from the basics of life including employment, housing, travel, and financial services. For example, employers admit to seeking criminal record information for two-thirds of vacancies and rejecting ex-offenders for up to 90% of vacancies.
- Over 10 million people in the UK have a criminal record.
- One in three men (and almost one in ten women) has a conviction by the age of 53.
- 26% of the 4.9 million claimants of out of work benefits are people with criminal records.
- Long-term discrimination means the end of a sentence is only the beginning of a life with a criminal record.