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UNLOCK e-newsletter

March 2011

UNLOCK e-newsletter – March 2011 Welcome to March 2011’s e-newsletter. UNLOCK currently have 5,497 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 chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk. 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 March  UNLOCK Publication – Response to the Breaking the Cycle Consultation, setting out how the ROA should be reformed  Event - Member meeting with the Ministry of Justice  UNLOCKing Banking – Meeting with the FSA on banking in prison  UNLOCKing Insurance – Meeting with Lord McNally, including discussion about insurance law reform  UNLOCK Internal - Trustee recruitment  A roundup of UNLOCK’s work in the Media Useful information & advice  UNLOCK Publication – Information & Advice Service leaflet  Opportunity – Free places on a course in London What’s being discussed on the Member’s Forum Other News (selected from UNLOCK’s delicious page)

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UNLOCK e-newsletter

March 2011

A round-up of March 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)

UNLOCK Publication – Response to the Breaking the Cycle Consultation, setting out how the ROA should be reformed This month we submitted our views to the Ministry of Justice on how we think the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 should be reformed. This was based on the overwhelming response we received from UNLOCK members to the consultation we launched back in December when the MoJ review was announced. Our submission can be downloaded here. The latest on the UNLOCKing Employment campaign can be found here.

Event - Member meeting with the Ministry of Justice As part of the Ministry of Justice Breaking the Cycle consultation, UNLOCK arranged for 8 members to meet with the MoJ at their headquarters in London to discuss how the ROA should be reformed. We want to thank all of those that attended this meeting, and apologise to those who we were unable to bring along, purely due to limited numbers. The MoJ have provided us with their thoughts on how the meeting went, what they got out of it etc, which is available to read on Reforming the ROA page of our website.

UNLOCKing Banking – Meeting with the FSA on banking in prison As part of our UNLOCKing Banking project, we met with the FSA to discuss the issues around access to banking for people in prison, including the ways in which people in prison are restricted in managing their own financial affairs and have to rely on family members.

UNLOCKing Insurance – Meeting with Lord McNally, including discussion about insurance law reform This month we met with Lord McNally (Justice Minister in the House of Lords) about the issues from our recent research, Time is Money. On the issue of insurance, he agreed to consider using the new fast track process in the House of Lords for the Law Commission's Bill on Non-Disclosure. More information on the need for the reform of insurance law is available here.

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UNLOCK e-newsletter

March 2011

UNLOCK Internal - Trustee recruitment Having advertised back in October 2010 that we were seeking new Trustees, particularly welcoming applications from those with a criminal record, we are pleased to report that we are currently in the process of completing the relevant paperwork for those invited to join the Board of Trustees, and when complete this will see an increase in the proportion of Board members having a criminal record from 50% to 75%. Details of those recruited to the Board will be added to the UNLOCK Team section of the website once this process is complete.

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

Ex-con talks to Yarlington staff – This is the West County Insurance help for those with criminal convictions – Confused.com Even minor convictions can impact insurance – This is money Caught fair dodging? How even a minor conviction could have a huge impact on your insurance – Mail Online Should life mean life? – BBC Radio 4 Moral Maze, 2nd March [link not yet available] Conditions in prison – LBC Radio, 2nd March [link not yet available] Issues about CRB checks – BBC Radio Essex, 31st March [link not yet available] HMP inspection report one month before the Ford prison riot – BBC Radio Sussex, 31st March [link not yet available]

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.

UNLOCK Publication – Information & Advice Service leaflet We have put together a short leaflet detailing the Information & Advice Service (IAS) that UNLOCK provides. In particular, it explains the way in which we deliver this service, given our limited resources. You can view this information online or download the leaflet. Please feel free to print out the leaflet and share it with those who may find it useful. Enquiries about our Information & Advice Service should be sent to advice@unlock.org.uk.

Opportunity – Free places on a course in London We have been contacted by Lucinda Neall of Neall Scott. Neall Scott run a week-long self-realisation course, aimed mainly at ex-offenders. Information about the ‘Building a Better Future’ programme can be found on their website at Page 3 of 5

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UNLOCK e-newsletter

March 2011

http://www.neallscott.co.uk/neall-scott-buildingfuture.html. One of our members has recently been on the course and found it useful, suggesting that others may benefit from attending. They are in the position of being able to fully fund a limited number of places. If you want to apply for one of these places you should send an email to partners@neallscott.co.uk explaining you they would benefit from attending. The funding covers the course fee but not travel expenses. The course will be held at the Foundation Training Company (FTC) training centre in London. FTC provides support and training for ex-offenders. The dates of the next courses are Monday 4th to Friday 8th April and Monday 20th to Friday 24th June. Neall Scott have been piloting the course with FTC for a year. They run the course every two months and have capacity for 16 people. They are extending the invitation beyond just FTC clients in the hope that they can reach more people.

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 forum.unlock.org.uk for a full list of topics previously discussed.     

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“CV says it all” – cp33c reports a success in finding employment. Inaccurate reports on the papers and online! – klin raises the issue that many people face when convicted which is media coverage, and in particular the exaggeration of facts and details been offered job as doctors receptionist hid my theft conviction – luvlielainey reports how she was offered a job after hiding her conviction but has since been asked to do a CRB check Co-op (CIS) insurance – after quite a lengthy discussion, jimmy finally got a (negative) response back from the Co-op, which emphasises the importance of making sure insurers are fully aware of unspent convictions, and getting written confirmation Opinions please- Declaring insurance cancellation directly due to conviction – fifi starts off an interesting discussion about the issue of being “refused” insurance from when the conviction was unspent, but it is now spent – something that is covered in our recently published detailed guidance Warning about insurance companies selling your data – Winston Smith raises an interesting issue about sharing of data, which resulted in issues found with links with the sharing of information via credit files Counselling – forever changes discusses some difficulties regarding people with convictions seeking counselling for issues that led to their offending Moving or living abroad while serving sentence – Invictus kicks off a discussion about travelling abroad, particularly when serving a sentence in the community, and a number of other members have had input with their views and experiences

You can view the forum at forum.unlock.org.uk. 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 chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk. If you are not yet a member of UNLOCK, you can join at www.unlock.org.uk. Page 4 of 5

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March 2011

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.  

Challenging the cuts: A guide to judicial review – guardian.co.uk Why reformed Paul, 44, is giving back to society – News & Star

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

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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, 2010 35a High Street | Snodland | Kent | ME6 5AG T: 01634 2473500 E: chris.stacey@unlock.org.uk W: www.unlock.org.uk

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UNLOCK e-newsletter March 2011  

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