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UNLOCK e-newsletter

April 2011

UNLOCK e-newsletter – April 2011 Welcome to April 2011’s e-newsletter. UNLOCK currently have 5,535 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 e-newsletter, contact Any submissions must be received by the 25th of the month. You are more than welcome to pass this email on to others who you think may find it useful. We’ve added a pdf version of the e-newsletter, so that you can print it and share it if you wish. If you have received the e-newsletter indirectly and find it useful, please sign up to receive directly by joining UNLOCK as a member, free of charge. This will guarantee that you receive it and will allow us to know who the e-newsletter is reaching.

In this month’s e-newsletter A round-up of April  UNLOCKing Employment - Launch of test phase of Criminal Record Disclosure Calculator  UNLOCKing Insurance – Article in Financial World – Guilty – though you didn’t know it  Prisoner Voting – Government loses its final appeal against giving prisoners the right to vote  Upcoming Event by Pavilion - Minimising Self-Harm in the Criminal Justice System  A roundup of UNLOCK’s work in the Media Useful information & advice  UNLOCKing Employment - Criminal Record Disclosure Calculator User Guide  E-newsletter – To be sent from a new email address What’s being discussed on the Member’s Forum Other News (selected from UNLOCK’s delicious page)

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April 2011

A round-up of April Back to top This section looks to cover some of the developments over the last month, both in our own work but also in other areas, as well as detailing opportunities (both with UNLOCK and with others) which members may be interested in. DON’T FORGET – You can keep up to date with developments at UNLOCK by following our Twitter page, become a fan of UNLOCK’s Facebook page or sign up to our delicious updates (via RSS feed)

UNLOCKing Employment - Launch of test phase of Criminal Record Disclosure Calculator UNLOCK’s Criminal Record Disclosure Calculator (available at is an online tool that can be used to find out when a criminal record becomes spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA). We have spent quite a lot of time testing the calculator, running specific cases through it to test the complex rules of the ROA, and are now looking to obtain feedback on the calculator, including why it is important, what is good about it and how it could be improved. We would be grateful if you could take some time to have a go using the calculator. The website address is There is a detailed user guide available here. More information about the calculator is available here, including what the benefits are of it, why we have developed it, how we did it and how you can support it. A feedback form can be completed by clicking here and returning it either via email or by post. This will help us to identify any issues that there are with the calculator before it is formally launched. Please note: As the calculator is currently in testing phase, we are focusing on gathering a range of views and opinions before addressing any areas that need attention. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any issues will be rectified immediately, but assure you that any feedback you provide will be greatly appreciated and will be acted on. We hope you enjoy testing out the calculator and we look forward to receiving your feedback.

UNLOCKing Insurance – Article in Financial World – Guilty – though you didn’t know it In this months’ edition of Financial World, Chris Bath of UNLOCK has written an article which makes the case for a more sophisticated approach by insurers to criminal records. Unfortunately, access to the article is by subscription only, but we will be receiving a hard-copy of the article shortly.

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April 2011

Prisoner Voting – Government loses its final appeal against giving prisoners the right to vote The government has lost its final appeal against giving prisoners the right to vote following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); the UK must now draw up proposals within six months to end the blanket ban on prisoners voting. Jean-Paul Costa, president of the ECHR warned David Cameron against challenging the court's decision on prisoner votes stating that Britain would be behaving like a dictatorship if it refuses to comply. Useful resources include a Guardian piece, the ECHR Press release, a Guardian report and a Human Rights Europe report.

Upcoming Event by Pavilion - Minimising Self-Harm in the Criminal Justice System A series of conferences are taking place on minimising self-harm, organised by Pavilion. The London event, which is due to take place on Tuesday 17h May, is titled ‘Self-harm and safety in the criminal justice system’. The event is due to cover:      

What challenges exist for organisations in managing self-harm Community response to self-harm Developing service user involvement in prison ‘What works’ – an examination of what does and doesn’t work regarding supporting and managing self-harm A look at some of the legal complexities in managing self-harm ‘The Road to Low Newton’

Participants at the event include Jez Spencer (NOMS South West), Dr Lorna Jellicoe-Jones (Forensic Clinical Psychological Service Lead, Guild Lodge), Sal Ball (Bristol Crisis Service for Women), James Ward (Research Associate, Durham University), Suzie Marriott (Mental Health Nurse), Clare Shaw (Director and Training Partner, harm-ed), Doug Feery (Switalskis Solicitors), Mark McGhee (Fentons Solicitors LLP), Adrian Clarke (Photographer and author of ‘The Road to Low Newton’ published by The West Pier Press). Prices start at £175 to attend. You can see a full programme, and book online, by following this link. You can also download a programme of the event.

A roundup of UNLOCK’s work in the Media 

Guilty – though you didn’t know it – Financial Word, April 2011

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April 2011

Useful information & advice Back to top You will find below details of some of the changes that we have made to the Information & Advice section this month. This is often as a result of either new developments, or as a result of individual cases that we have learnt from, so that people with convictions are aware of the situations that may affect them.

UNLOCKing Employment - Criminal Record Disclosure Calculator User Guide As part of launching (in test phase), we have developed a User Guide that sits alongside the Calculator to explain how to use it. However, this User Guide goes into great detail about the issues that relate to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, including how to ‘categorise’ the type of offence (which is important for further convictions) and what it means to have a conviction that is either unspent or spent. The User Guide can be viewed here. We are keen to receive feedback on the User Guide, as to whether you find it easy to understand. Please email you thoughts to

E-newsletter – To be sent from a new email address As of next month, we will be sending out the monthly e-newsletter our via a dedicated email address, Please make sure that, depending on your email settings, you have this email address in you ‘Safe Contacts’ so that the email doesn’t get put into your Junk folder. Alternatively, keep an eye on your Junk Mail folder at the end of May.

What’s being discussed on the Members’ Forum Back to top We’ve picked out a selection of key themes being discussed on the members’ forum this month. We’ve sought to give quite a good coverage to the topics discussed this month, but the list below isn’t exhaustive of the contributions made to the forum this month. You can contribute to each of the discussions by clicking the relevant links or visit for a full list of topics previously discussed.  

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“Job offer – Help” – Apples has been offered a job, but there is an issues as to whether it is an FSA-regulated role and what they must disclosure. “WRITING LETTERS AND PETITIONING THE MOJ FOR CHANGES TO ROA 1974” – ataloss begins a discussion about what can be done to push forward changes to the ROA, and members are debating whether it is best to keep on pushing now, or actually give Government time to put together proposals. “Enhanced CRB and PND” – An interesting discussion about Penalty Notices for Disorder and whether these will be disclosed on an enhanced CRB check. “ENHANCE CRB DILEMMA” – The situation trace finds herself in shows the long-term effects of minor convictions being disclosed on an enhanced CRB, but also how, when knowing the information will be disclosed, how you should try and approach this situation.

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April 2011

“The Correct Way to Disclose to Insurers” – Nebula starts a good discussion about how you should disclose your criminal record to insurers to make sure that you have valid cover. “Puzzled by terminology and consequences” – IanC highlights the issues around the various ‘management’ systems that are in place in the CJS for individuals, and the consequences that these can have. “Great news from Marks and Spencers, they are starting to employ ex-offenders/ and homeless people!” – Marilyn Wisbey highlights M&S’s work with ex-offenders, which is met by some cynicism by other members. Some members also challenge Marilyn about statements on her ‘blog’ regarding UNLOCK.

You can view the forum at If you are receiving this e-newsletter direct then you are already a member of UNLOCK. You can login to the forum here, where there is an option if you have forgotten your login information. However, if you are a member but are not yet registered with the forum, you can do so here, entering your membership number. If you cannot remember your membership number, email If you are not yet a member of UNLOCK, you can join at

Other News (selected from UNLOCK’s delicious page) Back to top Below you’ll find a selection of relevant news that we have posed on our delicious page over the last month. You can receive updates by using RSS feeds.     

This appetite for revenge against offenders will never cut crime – The Guardian Prisoners’ voting rights: Government loses final appeal in European court – The Guardian Raising the bar in the UK’s probation service – The Guardian Mortgage brokers must have a clean police record in relation to serious criminal offences linked to crimes against property or other financial activities, says the European Commission – Mortgage Strategy Stop prisoners from voting? That’s criminal – The Observer

This month’s e-newsletter was produced by Christopher Stacey LLB LLM | Head of Projects & Services Back to top

Notes  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

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 welcome submissions to the e-newsletter. To submit content, email To subscribe to receive UNLOCK’s e-newsletter, you can register, free of charge, as an UNLOCK Member at . Any queries can be directed to To unsubscribe, email with the subject line “Unsubscribe”.

© UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders, 2011 A: 35a High Street | Snodland | Kent | ME6 5AG T: 01634 2473500 E: W:

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UNLOCK e-newsletter April 2011  

April 2011's e-newsletter for reformed offenders published by UNLOCK