Here are some of the individuals and organisations who have signed up to our campaign.
“The Association of Youth Offending Team Managers (AYM) is pleased to support the Wipetheslateclean campaign launched by Bob Ashford, former YOT Manager and Director at the Youth Justice Board. It is absurd that Bob was forced to stand down as a Police & Crime Commissioner candidate in the recent election campaign due to a minor conviction he received over 30 years ago as a youth for which he was fined £5.”
Bob Ashford said, “I am really pleased that the AYM have agreed to support this important campaign. As a previous YOT manager myself and someone involved in the youth justice for many years it wasn’t until I was forced to resign and was deluged with e mails from other people whose lives had been blighted by criminal records that I realised the full extent of the damage that can be caused by the current systems and policies. With the support of AYM and other organisations I believe we can make a real difference to what is an extremely confusing, complex and un-coordinated area of the
CJS.”Gareth Jones went on to say, “The AYM supports the principle that young people and adults who have committed offences should not be damaged throughout their lives by a criminal record. Having accepted responsibility for their actions, they should be allowed to fulfil their potential and play a full and productive part in society. It’s a social and economic tragedy that we spend billions each year on criminal justice but then prevent people who turn their lives around from working and paying taxes.”
“Ex-offenders are burdened by their past mistakes, no matter how trivial, and often for the rest of their lives. CRB checks always emphasise the negative aspects of people’s lives and ignore the positive contribution that people with criminal records have made to society. I fully support the aims and objectives of wipetheslateclean and believe the campaign will make a positive contribution to the debate about rehabilitation.”
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) is supposed to protect people who have ‘rehabilitated’. But despite positive reforms from Spring 2013 other changes are rendering it worthless. The use of CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks has grown far beyond the original narrow range of occupations. Much of this has been enabled through legislation but some is totally illegal. Unlock has seen people CRB checked for a job operating a canal lock. But no employer has ever been prosecuted.
Sadly, it’s not limited to employment. Criminal records can prevent people (and their families) from renting a house, securing a mortgage, getting insurance, obtaining a bank account, going abroad, even getting an education.
At the very least we would like to see, old and minor convictions filtered out of CRB checks, the scope of the CRB reduced, employers who do illegal checks taken to court and everyone given the chance to be considered ‘rehabilitated’ in law.
National Association for Youth Justice is pleased to support ‘Wipe the slate clean.’ What incentive is there for a child or young person to stay out of further trouble, if they know that minor offences will follow them and affect their prospects for the rest of their lives? There are a very small number of children and young people who commit serious offences and who may need continued monitoring, but, for the majority, it is counter productive to allow childhood misbehaviour to haunt them for the rest of their lives. The law should be amended as soon as possible to give a ‘clean slate’ at age 18 for all but the most serious offences.
“No Offence! CIC is pleased to be a part of the Wipe The Slate Clean campaign, supporting and raising awareness of the difficulties faced by individuals who have committed crime and served their time to re-engage with society, get on with their lives and become useful members of our communities.
To prevent them from doing so perpetuates the ‘revolving door’, increasing both cost to tax payers and the number of victims, whilst reducing safety in our communities and destroying even more lives. We simply cannot afford to allow this to continue.”
Sue Clifford FInstLM
Chief Executive No Offence! CIC