If you’re a practitioner that is providing support to individuals with convictions, please see our section for practitioners.
The approach of our support
- It’s independent – We don’t deliver government-contracted services. We believe it is important that we are able to hold Government, agencies and others to account. We also believe it’s important that people with convictions trust us. That’s why we’re independent.
- It’s run by people with convictions – We recruit people with convictions as staff and volunteers.
- We have an ear to the ground, and a voice at the top – A core motivation behind our services is to not only provide information/advice, but is to also listen to those who are facing difficulties as a result of their convictions. This enables us to identify issues and influence policy to create systemic change.
- We don’t do things for or to people – Our services are grounded in the principles of self-help and personal independence.
- Working alongside others – Our services are not intended to replicate existing services. Where services exist elsewhere which are funded through government contracts and other mainstream funding sources, we will support the practitioners of those services.
“The combination of offline and online technology brings together an accessible and impressive support package.” 2014 Helpline Awards
- Hundreds of thousands of people access our self-help information online, which has the most comprehensive source of practical information for people with convictions in the country
- Thousands of people are assisted personally by phone, email and letter through our helpline
- Thousands of people receive our electronic news and information updates
- Tens of thousands of people use our online Disclosure Calculator tool to check out their duty to disclose under current law
Our support in numbers
Have a look at the numbers of people our helpline and online resources have helped in 2019/20.
As a small charity that covers England & Wales, our online support provide an effective way for us to reach hundreds of thousands of people each year. More information about our practical support can be found using the links below:
theInformationHub – The country’s most comprehensive source of practical self-help information for people with convictions on a wide range of issues that criminal convictions can affect.
theCalculator – Our online web tool can help you to work out when your convictions become ‘spent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and so no longer needs to be disclosed in most cases.
theForum – Our online forum is a a self-supporting community for law-abiding people with convictions – share information, advice and experience on moving on with a criminal record.
theRecord – The online magazine for law-abiding people with convictions – share news, views and personal stories about life with a conviction.
“In 2014, we were delighted to be awarded 1st prize at the Helpline Awards for the category “Best innovative use of technology”.
As well as providing online support, we recognise the importance of also providing direct support, so we work to secure grants from trusts and foundations, as well as encourage donations from the public, to help us to continue to provide our direct information, advice and support;
Helpline – We provide confidential peer advice on overcoming the effects of criminal convictions.
Case work – There are some instances where it is appropriate, or necessary, for us to intervene and provide individual support to somebody treated unfairly because of a conviction.
As part of delivering our support, we’re members of:
- Helplines Partnership
- Criminal Justice Alliance
Taking referrals from other organisations
As an independent non-government funded organisation, we do not take formal referrals from other organisations, services or agencies, as we’re not funded to do that type of work.
However, we set out our approach to working with other organisations and we always encourage others to link or signpost to the relevant parts of our work, particularly by raising awareness of our online channels such as our information site and disclosure calculator
Signposting to others
Where an individual is looking for advice or support on something we don’t cover, we will try to signpost them to others that hopefully can. Visit our important links and other organisations for further information.
As a small charity that covers England & Wales, we tend to only be able to refer individuals to organisations, services or projects that cover a significant area. However, we will also signpost to useful directories that provide details of local and regional organisations and support services.
We do not make formal referrals to other projects or services, although we offer advertising through our mailing list for organisations wishing to promote directly to people with convictions.