Today is a momentous day for tens of thousands of people with old and minor criminal records.  The stigma and embarrassment of a criminal record means many people simply don’t apply for jobs or voluntary roles that would require them to disclose their old and minor convictions or cautions. It’s a toxic form of punishment
The government has today confirmed that planned changes to the rules on filtering will come into effect on Saturday 28 November. After years of campaigning for change, and after many months of holding the government to account on the implementation of the changes, the news was confirmed in a letter to Unlock from the Home
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On the 16th September the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published it’s much anticipated white paper “A Smarter Approach To Sentencing”. It is a mixed bag, offering  ‘tough on crime’ sentencing measures along with some more positive reforms to criminal record disclosure periods.     The MoJ says that they want to improve employment prospects for people with convictions, and so reduce reoffending, which sounds great.
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The Scottish Government has passed a significant reform to their criminal records regime. The Scottish system is separate from the one that applies in England and Wales, and had fallen behind the rest of the UK after Westminster made significant updates in 2014.   The reforms that Holyrood have now passed make for interesting reading. The Scottish reforms, which come
Commenting on today’s announcement (16 September) by the Ministry of Justice on plans to make changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the disclosure of criminal records, Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock, said:  Unlock very much welcomes and supports today’s announcement by the Justice Secretary that disclosure periods for criminal records will be reduced. If these
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In July 2020 the Department for Transport published new guidance
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Unlock, a national advocacy charity for people with criminal records, has today published Checked out?, a report on so-called ‘ineligible’ criminal record checks, submitted by employers and processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 allows some criminal records to become spent after a crime-free period. This means they are no
In 2009 Julian was convicted of ABH and received a community order together with a £1,000 compensation order which he paid immediately. After waiting the 5 years for his conviction to become spent (this was prior to the changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act in 2014) Julian applied to Disclosure Scotland (who were responsible
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Toby contacted our helpline for some advice regarding a restraining order which he’d received in 2010. He explained that he had originally been given an ‘indefinite’ order which his solicitor considered to be excessive. An application was made to the Court to amend the order whereupon it was changed to 2 years. Since then Toby
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We’ve published an updated briefing on reforming the criminal records disclosure regime and we want to hear from you if you have a conviction that can never become spent. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) means that most convictions can become spent after a period of years. Changes implemented in 2014 (through focused mainly on
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Case of Lauren

Case of Lauren – consecutive sentences can never become spent Lauren contacted us for help understanding when her convictions would become spent. She was convicted of two separate offences related to the same incident, all dealt with in the same court proceedings. She was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for cultivating
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Case of Ian

Ian started work with his professional services firm in the early 1990s back when few employers asked about criminal records. Over the years he developed his skills and was now responsible for managing the office and billing. Ian planned to work there until retirement. In 2019, the firm introduced new HR systems and retrospectively carried
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