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UNLOCK e-newsletter November 2009 and consultation into reforming the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Welcome to Novembers e-newsletter. UNLOCK have over 4,500 members, and this email is sent to every UNLOCK member who has provided us with an email address. If you have any suggestions for content, would like to make any submissions, or would like to make a comment on the UNLOCK enewsletter, contact chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk. December’s e-newsletter will be sent out on the 18th December, which is slightly earlier than normal, so please make sure any submissions are made in advance of this. Feel free to forward this e-newsletter to anybody you think would be interested in its content. If you would like this to receive this directly, you can join UNLOCK as a member, free of charge. This month’s e-newsletter is a rather special one as it includes an opportunity for you to submit your views on a recent Parliamentary Bill introduced into the House of Lords to reform the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Do you think it’s a good thing? How do you think it could be improved?

In this e-news UNLOCK Consultation - Reforming the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974  We need your comments and thoughts What have we been up to?  UNLOCK member gets job at HMP Wormwood Scrubs  UNLOCK Trustee receives Honorary Fellowship  Home Office Review into the Retention of Criminal Conviction Information  BBC1’s My Story Competition – Submission by Bobby Cummines  Justice Committee publish report into the Role of a Prison Officer citing evidence given by UNLOCK Members  A roundup of UNLOCK’s work in the Media Opportunities for you to get involved?  Contribute to the UNLOCK Consultation on Reforming the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA)  Research into the support available to ex-offenders in South Wales  Set up a direct debit for £10 a month to support UNLOCK Other News (selected from UNLOCK’s delicious page)


UNLOCK Consultation - Reforming the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Back to top On the 19th November 2009, a ‘Private Members Bill’ was introduced into the House of Lords by Lord Dholakia called the ‘Rehabilitation of Offenders (Amendment) Bill’. The Bill could become law if there is enough support for it in the Houses of Parliament. This could be the first real opportunity to make a positive change to the Act in over 30 years. We really need to hear from everyone who has an opinion on the current law and how it should be improved. We need to know how the current law is causing you problems and whether this new Bill would improve your life or make no difference at all. Your voice will shape UNLOCK’s campaign. We therefore need your comments and thoughts on the Bill, including; 1. Do you think the Bill would help to overcome the problems and discrimination that you face living with a criminal conviction? If so, how? If not, why not? 2. Do you think anything should be changed to the Bill to make it more effective? 3. Do you think the Bill goes far enough? Do you think anything should be added to it? We’ve provided some background information on the UNLOCK Consultation Page on Reforming the ROA, but if you want to the full Bill for yourself, visit http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldbills/009/10009.1-i.html. Send any comments/contributions that you have to chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk.

What have we been up to? Back to top DON’T FORGET – You can keep up to date with developments at UNLOCK by visiting our Twitter page. Signup to follow UNLOCK to receive updates as and when they happen

UNLOCK member gets job at HMP Wormwood Scrubs Courtesy of an advert that we placed in UNLOCK’s September e-newsletter, ex-prisoner Charlie Ryder, who is a member of UNLOCK, was successful in his application for the Community Chaplaincy vacancy at HMP Wormwood Scrubs. We would like to congratulate Charlie and hope that he enjoys his new position. If you know of any job opportunities available that are proactively inviting applications from people with past convictions, then let us know and we will include it in this newsletter. Just email chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk

UNLOCK Trustee receives Honorary Fellowship Joe Baden (founder of the Open Book project at Goldsmiths College and Trustee of UNLOCK) has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from London South Bank University (LSBU) at an event on the 18th November held at Southwark Cathedral.


Home Office Review into the Retention of Criminal Conviction Information During the Court of Appeal case in June 2009, the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced a review into the process of retaining minor criminal conviction information. This review is being conducted by Sunita Mason, who is independent of Government. Looking at the Terms of Reference there is certainly potential scope for UNLOCK to make some representations. If you would like to make any contributions, email chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk.

BBC1’s My Story Competition – Submission by Bobby Cummines ‘My Journey: From Prison Politics to the Politics of Prisons’ is the submission by Bobby Cummines, Chief Executive of UNLOCK. You can read Bobby’s story by clicking the link above. Bobby has 24 votes so far – the current leader has 724 votes – so he needs your votes!

Justice Committee publish report into the Role of a Prison Officer citing evidence given by UNLOCK Members To read the final report published by the Justice Committee on the 3rd November 2009, which cites the evidence submitted by UNLOCK Members in numerous places, click here. Also, one UNLOCK Member has written an account of their experiences of giving evidence to the Justice Committee. You can view this very powerful piece by clicking here.

A roundup of UNLOCK’s work in the Media     

BBC Radio Kent – 10/11/2009 – Bobby Cummines talking about knife crime Press Release – 19/11/2009 – Rehabilitation law ‘forces ex-offenders onto benefits’ BBC Radio 5 Live – 24/11/2009 – Bobby Cummines talking about East Sutton Park Open Prison BBC Radio Kent – 24/11/2009 – Bobby Cummines talking about the case of Jane Andrews Meridian TV 6pm News – 25/11/2009 – Bobby Cummines talking about the case of Jane Andrews

Opportunities for you to get involved? Back to top Contribute to the UNLOCK Consultation on Reforming the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) As you will see UNLOCK, this month, as a result of the recent Bill introduced into the House of Lords, we are wanting your input into UNLOCK’s campaign to reform the ROA. All you need to do is take a look at the UNLOCK Consultation Page and send us your views. Simply email chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk.


Research into the support available to ex-offenders in South Wales We have been approached by a Postgraduate student in Broadcast Journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism. They are doing a radio feature about an initiative in South Wales which aims to provide Muslim ex-offenders with chaplaincy support once they leave prison. It's in response to a growing number of Muslim prisoners and the fact that they don't receive any support once they go back into their communities. They are looking for case studies from the South Wales area that are be willing to speak to them. If you are interested in taking part, email chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk

Set up a direct debit for £10 a month to support UNLOCK Have you ever thought about supporting the work of UNLOCK? As a very small charity, donations, particularly from UNLOCK members, are very gratefully received, and go towards sustaining the work that we do. You can visit the UNLOCK page on the CAF website, where you can set up a monthly direct debit or make a one-off donation. Just £10 per month would make such a difference to enabling UNLOCK to be more effective at the work that we do. To donate to UNLOCK, follow the link below.

Other News (selected from UNLOCK’s delicious page) Back to top 

The Information Commissioner appeals to the Supreme Court – The ICO, 13th November 2009

Police accused of preventing suspects access to lawyers – The Independent, 27th November 2009

Unfair Insurance Law may be overturned – The Guardian, 30th November 2009

DON’T FORGET – You can follow all the relevant news by visiting UNLOCK’s delicious page. Sign-up to receive updates as and when they happen.

Sent to you by Christopher Stacey LLB LLM | Information & Advice Manager Back to top

Notes      

UNLOCK’s e-newsletter is distributed to all UNLOCK Members who subscribe with an email address and are happy to be contacted by UNLOCK via email. The e-newsletter content may be reproduced providing UNLOCK is referenced as the source We would welcome submissions to the e-newsletter. To submit content, email chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk To subscribe to receive UNLOCK’s e-newsletter, you can register, free of charge, as an UNLOCK Member at http://www.unlock.org.uk/onlineform.aspx. Any queries can be directed to chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk To unsubscribe, email chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk with the subject line “Unsubscribe”.

© UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders, 2009 35a High Street | Snodland | Kent | ME6 5AG T: 01634 247350 E: chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk W: www.unlock.org.uk


UNLOCK e-newsletter November 2009