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Criminal records reform

The #FairChecks movement is calling for the government to review our outdated criminal records system

More than 12 million people in England and Wales have some kind of criminal record. Many have only had minor interactions with the criminal justice system and have long since moved on with their lives. But their criminal record still impacts employment opportunities, volunteering roles, housing rights and even travel.

People shouldn’t have to pay for the same crime over and over again. Criminal record checks can be an important tool to safeguard the public, but the current system is disproportionate and stops people who have already been punished from moving on. #FairChecks is a movement led by Transform Justice and Unlock. We are calling for the government to launch a review of the criminal records disclosure system to reduce the length of time a record is revealed, and for all political parties to commit to progressive reform of the system.

Join the movement

#FairChecks has three initial asks to make the system fairer:

  1. No automatic disclosure of cautions on criminal records. Cautions are low-level sanctions given by the police. They should not be automatically disclosed on criminal record checks.
  2. Wipe the slate clean for childhood offences. All but the most serious offences should be automatically removed from a child’s record at 18, with an opportunity for more serious offences to be reviewed by a judge and wiped from the record if appropriate.
  3. Stop forcing people to reveal short prison sentences forever. At the moment, being imprisoned for just one day leads to a lifelong criminal record. After a certain period, short and suspended prison sentences should have the opportunity to be excluded from detailed criminal record checks.

Visit the #FairChecks website to sign up and take action to help us achieve change.