Case study – Ronald – My personal experience of the Unlock forum

Ronald has been a member of Unlock’s forum for a while now and has found it to be totally unique. He believes there are so few practical and effective resources available to people with convictions and so few organisations committed to the betterment and improvement of those affected by an institutionalised view that once someone has committed a criminal offence they are lost to society.

Ronald states:

“It was clear to me from the start that theForum was the work of people committed to making improvements through campaigns, meetings, looking at policies and a host of other activities, striving to improve the prospects of all those facing discrimination. It was a refreshing experience”.

Whilst his personal circumstances lead to a level of aggrievement with the criminal justice system, theForum provided an outlet that allowed him to contribute in a positive way. When he first joined he didn’t feel ready to contribute but he’d read the posts from others and waited a while to see how it worked. Ronald then looked at posts that he agreed with and added a comment or an example of his own. Today, he contributes regularly and hopes that the insight he provides from his own experiences, proves useful to others.

In Ronald’s opinion, theForum can only get better through the contribution of others, sharing experiences and especially sharing stories of how they have overcome barriers, met their own goals and proven themselves worthy of respect and the second chance so essential to improving their lives and those of their families. When we’re in the midst of a battle, it’s so easy to want to avoid talking about it but theForum gives an anonymous outlet and sometimes, others can offer a view or advice we might ourselves have missed.

 

Lessons

One of the great things about online discussions is that they generally happen over a longer period of time, so you can think about what you want to say and everybody gets the chance to make their point. This is very unlike face-to-face discussions where sometimes the only people who get heard are those who ‘think on their feet’ and talk loudest.

Links

Notes about this case study 

This case study relates to our online forum.

Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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