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
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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Case of Amir

Amir applied for a job in the training department of one of the big four accounting firms. After a telephone interview, assessment centre and face-to-face interview Amir was selected over the 18 other candidates. He was overjoyed, as he had worked hard over the last 12 years to build the skills and qualifications needed for
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In a week where the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, said that he was preparing a policy that looked at making changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA), we’re pleased to publish a paper by Dr Andrew Henley (Assistant Professor of Criminology at the University of Nottingham) on the rationale behind that piece of
It’s about a decade since we first started work on developing an online tool to help people work out if they need to tell employers and others about their criminal record. It was around 2009 when we started to receive an increasing number of calls to our helpline from people wanting to know if –
In the 1960s, when Richard was 16, he was found in possession of a small amount of cannabis. He was prosecuted for possession and given a one-year conditional discharge. As a student a few years later, Richard got into trouble again and was convicted of taking an item of food from a warehouse where he
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Commenting on today’s announcement (15 July) by the Ministry of Justice on plans to make changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, Christopher Stacey, co-director of Unlock, said: “Unlock very much welcomes and supports today’s announcement by the Justice Secretary. If his commitment proceeds to statute, it will mean more people with criminal records
Unlock, the country’s leading charity for people with convictions, has today published research on the impact of criminal records as perceived by people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. New data in the report, Double discrimination?, shows that over three-quarters of people surveyed (78%) felt their ethnicity made it harder for them to
Today we’ve published research on the impact of criminal records as perceived by people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. New data in the report, Double discrimination?, shows that over three-quarters of people surveyed (78%) felt their ethnicity made it harder for them to overcome the problems they faced as a result of