News about criminal records
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Hiring with conviction: Give former prisoners a decent chance in the workplace

Hiring with conviction: Give former prisoners a decent chance in the workplace | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
For those who wish to seek rehabilitation and contribute to society, we must think about how the crime has affected their lives and how we can support them back into work.
Unlock's insight:
There is a huge pool of talent being wasted because employers are reluctant to take on ex-prisoners. Unlock's recent research shows that many employers are still asking about criminal records when there is no need, and convictions that are not relevant to the job are leading to rejection. Some employers' online application processes automatically reject anyone with an unspent conviction. This is not sustainable and has to change.
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UK Guidance: Criminal Records Not Needed at Job Application Stage

UK Guidance: Criminal Records Not Needed at Job Application Stage | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
British companies are still largely not compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation when it comes to employers' handling of convicted persons' criminal records during the job application process a report by an advocacy group says.
Unlock's insight:
Too often, employers overlook skills, experience and qualifications if an applicant declares they have a criminal record. Yet over 11 million people in the UK have a criminal record. The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 make it clear that asking about criminal records must be necessary – if it isn’t necessary, it isn’t compliant.

The Information Commissioner's Office said it is crucial that employers understand their obligations to data protection law and this guidance will help them to do this.
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Giving children under 16 criminal records 'blights their lives', South Yorkshire's police commissioner says - Yorkshire Post

Giving children under 16 criminal records 'blights their lives', South Yorkshire's police commissioner says - Yorkshire Post | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
The age at which children can be given a criminal record should be raised from 10 to 16 to prevent their futures from being “blighted”, South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said.
Unlock's insight:
Thanks to the commissioner's experience in youth justice, he has seen the impact that this can have on children even before they become adults. We have been concerned for some time about the effect childhood offending can have later in life, in some cases for the length of their working life, and even beyond that.
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A quiet shift in stance on the right to be forgotten | Law | The Times

A quiet shift in stance on the right to be forgotten | Law | The Times | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Just five months after Mr Justice Warby gave judgment in the case of NT1 & NT2 v Google, discreet signs of a shift in the approach of the Information Commissioner Office’s (ICO) to the de-listing of webpages containing information about an ex-offender’s spent conviction are becoming apparent.The eff
Unlock's insight:
Old newspaper articles online may contain details of spent convictions. The Information Commissioner's Office seems to be changing its approach to this, which we hope will be helpful for people who want to move on with their lives after their convictions become spent. It can have a big impact on rehabilitation.
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Google fights plan to extend 'right to be forgotten'

Google fights plan to extend 'right to be forgotten' | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
A law allowing individuals to ask search engines to take down information about them could be extended.
Unlock's insight:
This hasn't received much publicity in the UK because the case is being brought by another country. We hope the ECJ finds in favour of protecting people with spent convictions, and that more people can move on with their lives after their convictions become rehabilitated.
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Employers too often ‘overlook’ candidates with criminal records, government told

Employers too often ‘overlook’ candidates with criminal records, government told | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Charities intensify calls to stop use of blanket screening questions on job applications
Unlock's insight:
We've made our submission to the Cabinet Office's consultation on supporting people with convictions into employment. It's a sad reflection on modern society that many employers still won't consider people with convictions for employment, with some doing it automatically through online application processes. Isn't it time that we moved on from this prejudice and became more inclusive?
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Guidance for applicants with criminal convictions - About us - University of Westminster, London

Read the University of Westminster's code on applicants who declare a criminal conviction.
Unlock's insight:
Following UCAS's decision to Ban the Box, it's good to see Westminster saying that even an unspent conviction doesn't have to hold you back, and that "applicants will only ever be assessed on their academic suitability" 
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Take on more magistrates with criminal records to help improve diversity, law chief suggests

Take on more magistrates with criminal records to help improve diversity, law chief suggests | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
More magistrates with criminal records would help increase diversity among the judiciary, the chairman of the Magistrates Association has suggested.
Unlock's insight:
As in other aspects of life, many people are put off from doing this because they expect to be rejected, even with relatively minor records from a long time ago. As with employment, many people who could be an asset are being deterred and overlooked.
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Hull company says people don't have to disclose criminal convictions when applying for a job - Hull Live

Hull company says people don't have to disclose criminal convictions when applying for a job - Hull Live | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Prestige Recruitment in Hull wants to Ban the Box
Unlock's insight:
This is great news of another company signing up to Ban the Box, and in a large population centre, as well. It's an important recognition that the person is normally more important than their criminal record, and that "...employers can play a vital role in reducing reoffending while gaining access to a larger and diverse talent pool". It's good practice and it makes sound commercial sense.
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'Harsh' criminal record checks hinder rehabilitation, court told | Law | The Guardian

'Harsh' criminal record checks hinder rehabilitation, court told | Law | The Guardian | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Supreme court hears claim that DBS system prevents ex-offenders from moving on
Unlock's insight:
This is an important case, in which we are intervening. It is a crucial opportunity for the government to get serious about improving access to rehabilitation.

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Google loses landmark 'right to be forgotten' case | Technology | The Guardian

Google loses landmark 'right to be forgotten' case | Technology | The Guardian | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Businessman wins legal action to force removal of search results about past conviction
Unlock's insight:
This judgment from the High Court represents a key victory for people with a criminal record. Read our full comment at http://www.unlock.org.uk/unlocks-comment-on-high-court-judgment-on-right-to-be-forgotten-and-spent-convictions-case/
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'Right to be forgotten': high court hears second Google case | Technology | The Guardian

'Right to be forgotten': high court hears second Google case | Technology | The Guardian | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Businessman wants links to articles about his criminal past to be removed from search engine
Unlock's insight:
This case involves search results that links to conviction that is spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The judgment, expected soon, will be key in setting out how search engines should be dealing with spent convictions. 
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Does Parliament or Google decide when your criminal past is forgotten? • The Register

Does Parliament or Google decide when your criminal past is forgotten? • The Register | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Right To Be Forgotten trial reaches halfway mark
Unlock's insight:
A useful summary of the High Court case arguing that Google should de-list search results that link to articles with spent convictions on them. 
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One in five employers ‘break the law when asking candidates about criminal records’

One in five employers ‘break the law when asking candidates about criminal records’ | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
‘Confusion’ and ‘inconsistency’ over ex-offenders risks GDPR breach and has ‘chilling effect’ on talent
Unlock's insight:
This new research shows that it remains the case that asking about criminal records at application stage is the default approach for almost three-quarters of national, big name companies. It’s also worrying that around 1 in 5 of them are asking for information they are not legally entitled to.
We know this approach has a chilling effect on talented applicants with a criminal record, many of whom never apply because they think they don’t stand a chance. In fact, evidence from employers who do recruit people with criminal records shows that they make reliable, hardworking and loyal employees. Employers who are open about their inclusive recruitment practices report a positive impact on their reputation.
Government, business and charities need to seriously consider how to accelerate the changes in employer behaviour that Ban the Box encourages. Unless significant progress is made, increasingly it seems that the only way to make sure employers remove the tick-box is by looking to put Ban the Box on a statutory footing.
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Tory MP to push bill to keep fewer childhood crimes on permanent record | London

Tory MP to push bill to keep fewer childhood crimes on permanent record | London | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Teenagers who commit minor drink and drugs offences should not be “punished their whole lives” by potential employers being able to find out about their convictions, a former Cabinet minister said today. People who had “very minor brushes with the law” when under 18 are being blocked from work and educational opportunities, according to Conservative MP Theresa Villiers.  She is leading a cross-party group of MPs pushing for changes to the law so that fewer minor convictions are kept on a person’s permanent record. 
Unlock's insight:
We're delighted to see that this issue has been raised in Parliament, regardless of the eventual outcome of the Supreme Court case. It can't be right that such relatively minor incidents in childhood can still be causing problems many years later.
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Leicestershire Police log of children's fight 'perverse'

Leicestershire Police log of children's fight 'perverse' | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
A fight between two young boys was logged as actual bodily harm due to crime reporting rules.
Unlock's insight:
At a time when there are campaigns to stop the criminalisation of children, it is worrying that children below the age of criminal responsibility can be added to the police database for "crimes" that they are considered legally unable to commit because of their age.
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Prisoners offered bursaries to study at Cambridge University for first time 

Prisoners offered bursaries to study at Cambridge University for first time  | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Prisoners will be offered bursaries to study at Cambridge University for the first time under a new scheme.
Unlock's insight:
It's great to see one of the world's highest-rated universities encouraging people with convictions to continue their education and improve their opportunities. Education can play an important role in rehabilitating prisoners and ex-prisoners into society.
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Rules of compensation for victims of crime must be reviewed, orders justice secretary

Rules of compensation for victims of crime must be reviewed, orders justice secretary | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
The justice secretary has ordered a full review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme after critics warned some victims are unfairly denied payouts.
Unlock's insight:
It's interesting to see that the review will include the rule excluding people with certain unspent convictions, and limiting the compensation to some others with unspent convictions. A victim of crime isn't any less a victim and doesn't suffer any less because they have an unspent conviction, so we think it's time to end that discrimination.
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Barkers stands up for jobseekers with criminal records with Ban the Box

Barkers stands up for jobseekers with criminal records with Ban the Box | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
A North West-based consultancy has become the 100th business to sign up to Business in the Community's "Ban the Box" scheme, aimed at ending discrimination against individuals with criminal records.
Unlock's insight:
Some employers choose not to employ people with convictions, claiming "their customers wouldn't like it". However, here's a practical, forward-thinking company that sees how employing people with convictions is good for the development of their business. They don't think it will hurt their business, so why should anyone else?
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BBC - Capital - Why more ex-offenders may be about to get a second chance

BBC - Capital - Why more ex-offenders may be about to get a second chance | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
The real reasons why employers in the US and the UK might be softening their attitudes towards employing people with a record
Unlock's insight:
We've been saying for a while that there is a large pool of talented potential employees who happen to have a criminal record. This article shows the potential benefits of hiring someone who happens to have a criminal record.
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Criminal record requests could be breaching GDPR, warns charity

Criminal record requests could be breaching GDPR, warns charity | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Employers should treat law change as an ‘opportunity’ to review recruitment process
Unlock's insight:
This is an important side-effect of the new data protection law. Now that it is more difficult to justify a criminal record check or question at the interview stage, maybe it's time to review best practice to come in line with Ban the Box?
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'Disqualification by association' rules for schools scrapped

'Disqualification by association' rules for schools scrapped | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Schools will no longer have to follow controversial safeguarding rules which caused teachers to be unnecessarily suspended from work. From September, so-called
Unlock's insight:
This decision is long overdue and very welcome. The current system is heavy-handed and does nothing to improve safeguarding in schools. You can read more on our view on this at http://www.unlock.org.uk/unlock-comment-dba-2018/
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Ucas drops need for university applicants to declare convictions | Education | The Guardian

Ucas drops need for university applicants to declare convictions | Education | The Guardian | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Ex-offenders will no longer have to declare criminal record when applying to university
Unlock's insight:
This is a positive change by UCAS. Read our full comment at http://www.unlock.org.uk/unlock-comment-ucas/
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University was wrong to expel pharmacy student, High Court rules | News | The Times

University was wrong to expel pharmacy student, High Court rules | News | The Times | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
A student who was thrown off his master’s course at university for failing to disclose convictions from when he was 14 has had his expulsion quashed by a High C
Unlock's insight:
This shows the importance of universities, when considering the criminal record of an applicant or student, to give proper consideration to factors such as mitigating circumstances and what people have done since receiving their criminal record, instead of operating blanket policies that focus simply on the offence. 
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Former prostitutes win legal challenge against UK government | Society | The Guardian

Former prostitutes win legal challenge against UK government | Society | The Guardian | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
High court rules women can prevent criminal records being revealed to potential employers
Unlock's insight:
This is an important decision by the High Court that further adds weight to the need for the UK government to get on with reforming the DBS filtering regime.
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