News about criminal records
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Minor convictions ‘not relevant’ when applying for jobs following court ruling | Recruiter

Minor convictions ‘not relevant’ when applying for jobs following court ruling | Recruiter | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
The government may have to reform the current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) system due to a landmark ruling handed down by the Supreme Court yesterday.
Unlock's insight:
This sums up the court's ruling very succinctly. It also underlines what we have been saying all along - much of the criminal record information that is disclosed on standard and enhanced DBS checks is irrelevant and shouldn't be there.
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A criminal record should not mean a lifetime on benefits | Scotland | The Times

A criminal record should not mean a lifetime on benefits | Scotland | The Times | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Research has further called into question the value of criminal record declarations on job application forms. The work by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research showed that not only does the criminal record tick-box do little to predict accurately the risk of reoffending: in some cases
Unlock's insight:
This is a different perspective on the SCCJR report. It is ridiculous that so many talented people are forced to live on benefits because of prejudice. They can still be seen as an unacceptable risk many years after their offending, even though research has shown that after 10 years, they are no more likely to offend than someone with no criminal record. When will employers see the valuable resource they are overlooking?
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» Study finds criminal record tick box failing employers and job applicants

» Study finds criminal record tick box failing employers and job applicants | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Unlock's insight:
Another report about Scotland, but the principles are the same. The SCCJR agrees that the current tick-box system discourages people with unspent convictions from applying, and even people who don't know that their convictions are spent. A lot of talent is being wasted because of old-fashioned attitudes.
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Drive to employ ex-offenders attracts over 120 businesses

Drive to employ ex-offenders attracts over 120 businesses | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
More than 120 further businesses have registered to work with prisons and set offenders on a path to employment, Justice Secretary David Gauke revealed today.
Unlock's insight:
It is encouraging that employers are signing up to get involved in work with prisoners to help them after release. Unfortunately, the scheme seems to be aimed only at currently serving prisoners, and no mention is made of ex-prisoners or other people with unspent convictions. We have seen that finding employment with an unspent conviction involves much more than just having the right skills and experience. Overcoming prejudice is probably just as important.
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A childhood criminal record is for life

A childhood criminal record is for life | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Claire Sands on childhood criminal records
Unlock's insight:
This blog post rightly points out that a criminal record given to a child will persist until their 100th birthday, so it can still have repercussions many years later. Many people with convictions face discrimination every day, so why should we make people suffer years later for mistakes they made as a child?
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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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How hiring ex-offenders can be beneficial for your startup - Elite Business Magazine

While many entrepreneurs might harbour reservations against hiring ex-offenders, they’re indeed missing out on a potential skilful workforce
Unlock's insight:
This is a very important article, that lays out the benefits to employers of employing people with convictions. There's not much more we can add.
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Meet the ex-offender from Leeds helping troubled children transform their lives - Yorkshire Post

Meet the ex-offender from Leeds helping troubled children transform their lives - Yorkshire Post | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
Andi Brierley went from repeat offender to helping troubled youngsters rebuild their lives. Now an autobiography telling his amazing life story is being published. Chris Burn reports.
Unlock's insight:
This a very encouraging story, and shows what can be done when you give someone a fair chance. Leeds Council must have done a risk assessment and decided that they had no safeguarding issues. They also realised that Andi's experience of the criminal justice system would be an asset rather than a liability. This shows that there is plenty of untapped talent that is being ignored simply because people have a criminal record, and it also shows that the situation could be changed for the better.
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What can Better Call Saul tell us about the state of the UK criminal records system?

What can Better Call Saul tell us about the state of the UK criminal records system? | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
An exploration of the harsh reality of UK criminal records disclosure.
Unlock's insight:
This article from Open Democracy shows exactly what is confronting people who got a criminal record when they were still under 18 - they were still children. Their police record stays with them until they are 100 years old, but crucially it might be fully disclosed in standard or enhanced DBS checks as well. Why should minor, irrelevant brushes with the law be held against people years and even decades later?
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Calls for age of criminal responsibility to be raised to 16

Calls for age of criminal responsibility to be raised to 16 | News about criminal records | Scoop.it
MINISTERS are being urged to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland to 16.
Unlock's insight:
Obviously, this report refers only to Scotland, but we can all learn lessons from it. While the Scottish government is planning to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 12, leaving England & Wales with the age of criminal responsibility at 10, there is a case for raising it to 16. It wouldn't completely solve the problems caused in adult life by criminal records received in childhood, but it would be a very good start.
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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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