UNLOCK e-newsletter – February 2010 Welcome to February 2010’s e-newsletter. UNLOCK have over 4,700 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. 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 e-news What we’ve been up to in February UNLOCKing Employment – UNLOCK publish Briefing Paper on the Criminal Records Bureau UNLOCKing Employment - UNLOCK submit recommendations to the Independent Review on Retention and Disclosure of Criminal Convictions UNLOCKing Banking – February 2010 Newsletter published Votes for Prisoners – Barred from Voting Campaign Paper published UNLOCKing Employment – Presentation at APF/Clinks Forum on the Vetting & Barring Scheme (VBS) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) A roundup of UNLOCK’s work in the Media Opportunities for you to get involved Your views on UNLOCK’s Briefing Paper on the Criminal Records Bureau Your views on UNLOCK’s Recommendations to the Independent Review Job Opportunities – Women in Prison – 5 vacancies Job Opportunities - User Voice - 2 vacancies Job Opportunities - Koestler Trust - Ex-Offender Arts Worker - 2 vacancies Would you like to befriend a prisoner, become a pen-friend, or know a prisoner who needs one? “Jailbrake” weekend, London - 26th-28th of March Other News (selected from UNLOCK’s delicious page)
What we’ve been up to in February Back to top DON’T FORGET – You can keep up to date with developments at UNLOCK by following our Twitter page, become a fan of UNLOCK’s new Facebook page or sign up to our delicious updates (via RSS feed)
UNLOCKing Employment – UNLOCK publish Briefing Paper on the Criminal Records Bureau This month UNLOCK had a meeting with the Criminal Records Bureau. This gave us the opportunity to raise the concerns that have been brought to us by you, our members, around how the current CRB process impacts on people with past convictions. We came away from that meeting with plenty to think about, and set ourselves the task of putting together a document which set out the main areas of concern. The Briefing Paper on the CRB is the result. This is our first real attempt to try and get to grips with the CRB process and engage with the CRB on a policy level. Of course, we have to be realistic in recognising that working to improve the CRB process is not something that we are currently funded to do. However, the evidence we have received from UNLOCK members suggests that it currently has a hugely detrimental impact on people with irrelevant convictions who are seeking employment positions which require a check. What we have sought to do in this paper is draw together the concerns and issues that have been brought to us in recent times around the CRB. We have attempted to identify from these issues what practical changes need to be made to make the system work in a much more balanced way. We would therefore welcome your views as to what you think about the actions that we have suggested are needed. Do you agree with them? Do you disagree with them? Do you have anything to add to them? Have we missed anything? Email email@example.com with your thoughts. We will continue to update the CRB campaign page of our website updated with progress that is made.
UNLOCKing Employment - UNLOCK submit recommendations to the Independent Review on Retention and Disclosure of Criminal Convictions In last month’s e-newsletter, we included a piece which asked for your thoughts in relation to a review that was being conducted into retention and disclosure of criminal convictions as a result of the “5 Constables” Court of Appeal decision in October 2009. We are pleased that a number of members took the time and effort to provide us with some very high quality responses. With their consent (and with personal details removed), we have included a number of these submissions into an UNLOCK Member's submission, which formed the basis of the recommendations that UNLOCK have made as an organisation as to how we believe a system of retention and disclosure should operate. For more information around this work, visit the UNLOCK Campaign Page on Retention of Criminal Convictions
The recommendations (and proposed system) that UNLOCK have made draw heavily on those submissions that we received from UNLOCK members. However, we are keen to stress that these recommendations are only the first step towards trying to achieve a system which is balanced and proportionate. Follow the links: UNLOCK’s Recommendations to the Independent Review UNLOCK Member Submissions Sunita Mason, the Independent Adviser to the Home Secretary on Criminality Information is due to submit her report today, Friday 26th February. Once the report is available, we will place a copy of this on our campaign page. We would welcome your views on the recommendations that we have put forward to the Review. Would they make any difference to you? Do you think we should have gone further? Have we gone too far? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
UNLOCKing Banking – February 2010 Newsletter published Last month, we had a piece in this e-newsletter which mentioned an article we had in January’s Inside Time (a prison newspaper) about access to banking for prisoners. As part of UNLOCK’s work in improving access to banking for prisoners by working with banks and prisons so that they are able to establish and run their own pre-release banking services, this month UNLOCK published a Newsletter, which was put together to explain the context of UNLOCK’s work around banking, as well as explain what we will be looking to do in 2010 in this area. You can download a copy of the newsletter, or find out more information on this project by visiting the UNLOCKing Banking page.
Votes for Prisoners – Barred from Voting Campaign Paper published This month, UNLOCK and the Prison Reform Trust launched an updated campaign briefing paper at the House of Lords on Votes for Prisoners. UNLOCK published a Press Release to announce this launch, and there was a substantial amount of media coverage of the launch.
UNLOCKing Employment – Presentation at APF/Clinks Forum on the Vetting & Barring Scheme (VBS) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) UNLOCK gave a presentation to a Forum kindly hosted jointed by Action for Prisoners Families and Clinks and attended by organisations working in the criminal justice sector. The focus of the presentation was to discuss the VBS/ISA in the context of issues for people with past criminal convictions.
Earlier in the day, Peter Swift (from the Department for Children, Schools and Families) spoke about the Vetting and Barring Scheme and how it will operate. This was followed by Donald Findlater (Member of the Board of the ISA) who spoke about the ISA’s role in making barring decisions. The content of UNLOCK’s presentation was taken from a briefing paper that UNLOCK have produced on the VBS & ISA. This is due to be published early next week. A pdf copy will be placed on the ISA page of the website. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the ISA, take a look at the information both on the ISA page currently and on the ISA page in the Information & Advice area of the website. If you have any questions which you cannot seem to find answers to, email email@example.com. We would also welcome your thoughts on the briefing paper once it is published.
A roundup of UNLOCK’s work in the Media
Access to computers in prison – BBC Radio Kent, 2nd February Give prisoners the vote – Talk Sport Radio, 8th February General Election will breach European Convention if prisoners denied the right to vote – Press Release, 8th February Human rights don’t count if they cost votes - thisislondon, 8th February Prisoner vote ban 'means election could break law' - BBC News, 8th February Give prisoners the vote - Politics.co.uk, 8th February Give prisoners the vote – BBC Radio Wales, 9th February Should prisoners be allowed to vote? – BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze, 10th February Access to internet in prison – Channel 5 News, 11th February Give prisoners the right to vote, and everybody benefits - The Independent, 12th February Children convicted of violent offences in prison – BBC Radio Humberside (Peter Levy programme, 12.15pm), 15th February Mobile phones in prison – BBC Radio Oxford, 11.45am, 16th February Mobile phones in prison – BBC Breakfast, 18th February
Opportunities for you to get involved Back to top For a full list of external opportunities featured in previous e-newsletters, visit opportunities to contribute in the Press & Media section of the UNLOCK website. We also maintain a separate section specifically for Latest job opportunities in the Employment section of the Information & Advice area of the UNLOCK website.
Your views on UNLOCK’s Briefing Paper on the Criminal Records Bureau As mentioned earlier in this e-newsletter, UNLOCK met with the CRB this month. As a result, we have published a Briefing Paper on the CRB, which aims to bring together a wide range of concerns that have been brought to UNLOCK’s attention through its member. We have also set out our initial thoughts as to how the CRB process could be improved. However, we are keen to get your thoughts and experiences of the CRB, what you think the problems are, whether you think we have missed something and whether you disagree with some of the points we make. You can contribute either through emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contributing to the UNLOCK discussion forum.
Your views on UNLOCK’s Recommendations to the Independent Review As mentioned earlier in this e-newsletter, this month UNLOCK have submitted recommendations to an Independent Review which was looking at the policy of retention and disclosure of information on the Police National Computer. Although these were based on submissions by UNLOCK members, we are aware that many members may have differing views on this subject, so we would like to encourage you to take a look through what we have recommended and then get in touch with us with your thoughts, either through emailing email@example.com or by contributing to the UNLOCK discussion forum.
Job Opportunities – Women in Prison – 5 vacancies Closing date Wednesday 12th March 2010 @ 5pm For all Posts, WIP offers a generous remuneration package including a pension scheme and 30 days annual leave plus public holidays. These posts are restricted to women as a GOQ under s7(2)(e) of the SDA. WIP strongly encourages applications from women from minority ethnic groups and women ex-offenders. If you have any problems downloading the application packs please email firstname.lastname@example.org and state in your message which post you would like to apply for (e.g. Community Support Manager) and which pack you want (e.g. Manchester, Liverpool or London).
Community Services Manager (London) Closing date 10th March at 5pm, Interviews w/c 15th March, £32,844 – £34,068 pa (35 hours per week), 2 year fixed-term contract WIP are looking for an experienced and self-motivated manager to join their senior management team. You will provide strategic and operational management to specialist community-based and employment/education projects operating in the southern regions of England. You will have a minimum of 2 years experience of developing and managing targeted support projects for vulnerable people, including ESF funded projects. With significant experience of staff management, you will be an excellent communicator at both a service delivery and strategic level. A thorough knowledge of the difficulties facing women who have experience of the criminal justice system is essential. Please return application forms to their London Office at 347-349 City Road, London, EC1V 1LR or by email to email@example.com. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. You can download an application pack. Criminal Justice Support Workers (4 posts) Closing date 10th March at 5pm, Interviews w/c 15th March WIP are looking for innovative and creative staff to work within their new bail support pilot project. You will provide an initial advice, assessment and signposting service to vulnerable women in police/court custody suites, gathering information in support of bail applications where appropriate. Responsive to the needs of women, you will also develop short-term support plans that address their mental health, housing, domestic violence, substance misuse, financial and other identified needs. With extensive experience of supporting vulnerable women with complex needs (including problematic drug/alcohol use), you will also have experience of undertaking detailed needs/risk assessments and an NVQ3 in social care (or equivalent). Flexibility in terms of working hours is required. Please download the appropriate application pack below. Instructions as to where to return your application to are contained within each pack. London (x 2) £26,662 – £27,540 pa (35 hours per week) inc London weighting, 1 year fixed-term contract Download Application Pack Manchester (x1) £23,662 – £24,540 pa (35 hours per week), 1 year fixed-term contract Download Application Pack Liverpool (x1) £23,662 – £24,540 pa (35 hours per week), 1 year fixed-term contract Download Application Pack
Job Opportunities - User Voice - 2 vacancies Closing date 5th March 2010 User Voice exists to reduce reoffending by presenting the voice of offenders and ex-offenders to decision makers in the criminal justice system. They establish and support Prison, Probation, Youth and Community Councils; undertake projects which enable agencies to access and act upon the insights of offenders; and present the case for service user engagement to a wide range of key audiences. User Voice welcome applications from ex-offenders and from all sections of the community regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability. The details of the two job vacancies are available to download here. Any questions, contact Daniel Hutt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7968 2740. Applicants should send a CV and a statement of their suitability for the role to Daniel Hutt, User Voice, 19 Buckingham Street, London WC2N 6EF or email@example.com. The statement should set out the applicant’s experience and suitability in relation to each point of the Person Specification. Director of Operations £35-40k depending on experience The Director of Operations will manage all aspects of internal operations, take lead responsibility for User Voice’s Business Plan, ensure that realistic budgets are drawn up and adhered to, identify funding opportunities and ensure effective external and internal communications. He or she will also line manage the Head of Programmes. The successful candidate will have demonstrable experience of managing a complex range of internal operations and a strong commitment to the values of User Voice. Download the Job Advertisement and Terms and Conditions Head of Programmes £25-30k depending on experience The Head of Programmes will manage User Voice’s project managers and ensure the effective delivery of the organisation’s projects and programmes. The successful candidate will have experience of managing projects and programmes to a high standard, experience of managing people to ensure effective delivery and a strong commitment to the values of User Voice. Download the Job Advertisement and Terms and Conditions
Job Opportunities - Koestler Trust - Ex-Offender Arts Worker - 2 vacancies Closing date Friday 12th March 2010, £17,290 per annum, full time, 2-year fixed term contract The Koestler Trust team, based outside Wormwood Scrubs Prison in West London, includes exoffenders as staff and volunteers. They are now looking to recruit 2 ex-offenders (or ex-detainees or ex-secure patients) to join their Arts Team – manually handling the thousands of artworks entered for the Koestler Awards, sorting them for judging, exhibition and sales, dealing with queries by phone and email, sorting mail-outs and other admin tasks, keeping the building tidy, and helping at our exhibitions and events. The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 12 March 2010. Interviews will be held on Friday 19 March. Documents to download include the Job Description and Application Form
Would you like to befriend a prisoner, become a pen-friend, or know a prisoner who needs one? This month, we have developed a page in our Information & Advice section detailing those options available to prisoners looking for befrienders and pen-friends. This may be useful if you know somebody who is prison who is looking for somebody to communicate with. However, an added reason for why we are including this in this month’s e-newsletter is because, specifically with Newbridge Befriending Scheme and the Bent Bars Project, they welcome those who have prior personal experience of the criminal justice system to get involved. Visit the Prison Penfriend Option page for more information. If you have any questions, direct contact details for each project are provided on the page. For any general questions, you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Jailbrake” weekend, London - 26th-28th of March Jailbrake is a competition to find great ideas that could break the cycle of youth offending using simple web and mobile tools. Mobile phones are a great way to reach young people who are otherwise seen as ‘hard to reach’. Ideas include helping more young people access services and support or giving them a way of staying safe. The successful ideas will be turned into reality at the Jailbrake weekend, which will be attended by technology experts, designers and front line workers, split into teams to work on different ideas. Jailbrake would like to have an UNLOCK member on each team, who is able to share their personal experience, ideas and basically to tell people whether the ideas will work in the real world! The weekend is 26th-28th of March in Bethnal Green, London. Jailbrake have a small budget to assist with travel and accommodation costs. If you would like to enter your own idea, the deadline is 5th March. For further information please email email@example.com or call: 020 8980 8435 or visit www.jailbrake.org
Other News (selected from UNLOCK’s delicious page) Back to top
12/02/2010 - Builders face checks for criminal records
13/02/2010 – Prisoners’ votes aren’t a trivial cause
15/02/2010 - Convicted for buggery 51 years ago – and still paying a price
16/02/2010 – Why keep prisoners from learning?
22/02/2010 - Is it legal to order someone to apply for a Criminal Records Bureau check?
22/02/2010 – Prisoner early release scheme to be halted
24/02/2010 - Striking a balance between punishment and compassion
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com To unsubscribe, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Unsubscribe”.
© UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders, 2010 35a High Street | Snodland | Kent | ME6 5AG T: 01634 2473500 E: email@example.com W: www.unlock.org.uk
February 2010's e-newsletter for retormed offenders published by UNLOCK