Father-of-one Neil deserves a life, not a life sentence.
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In his early 20s, Neil was briefly homeless and stole from the local supermarket to feed himself. He was convicted of shoplifting and sent to prison for a month. After he got out, he stayed with friends and worked hard to turn things around. He hasn’t offended since, but his prison sentence will appear on a detailed criminal record check forever. Fortunately, his chosen career path does not require such checks, and he was able to build a successful professional life for himself, get married and have a daughter.
20 years after his time in prison, he wanted to volunteer to read to students at his daughter’s school, but discovered he would have to have a detailed criminal record check. He knew the staff at the school and was confident they would not turn him away because of his past, which was far behind him.
But he was ultimately rejected from volunteering and had to explain to his daughter why he wouldn’t be reading to her class. Decades after his crime, and despite having turned his life around, his criminal record is still holding him back from living a normal life and being there for his family.
People shouldn’t face a lifetime of barriers when they’ve already been punished.
FairChecks is asking the government and all political parties to support a review of the criminal records system so that old and minor mistakes do not continue to haunt people’s lives forever.
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