I’ve been planning on writing about the recent announcements to increase the use of peer mentors in the community. It raises a number of tensions on my head, including the fear that we’re setting mentors up to fail, expecting them to do too much, using them as a replacement for probation officers, and taking advantage […]

I want to thank my close friend, Charlie Ryder, for bringing my attention to this poem by Judge Dennis Chaleen. Now, although it’s written about people in prison, I saw a lot of comparisons to people with convictions who are trying to get on with their life, so I thought I’d share it here. Prisoners […]


Below is an article I wrote for, and was originally posted here. Over 9.2 million people with England and Wales have a criminal record. Having to disclose a past conviction, even an old and minor one from childhood, can cause significant disadvantage to an individual and their family. The effect is perhaps clearest in […]


In the Summer of 2012, the editors of the Probation Journal contacted me, on the recommendation of Fergus McNeil, to ask whether I’d be interested in writing an article for their special issue, “Opening the criminal justice market”. Now, I don’t know whether it’s a coincidence or not, but in the same month that the […]


So, Bob Ashford has been forced to withdraw as Candidate for the Avon & Somerset PCC due to two minor convictions from 46 years ago. It’s attracted a lot of media attention in the last day or so. A BBC article on the story can be read here. However, he isn’t the first to face […]


Below you find a copy of an interview I gave to Paul Lewis of Radio 4’s Moneybox on changes (and potential changes) to insurance and convictions that might make it easier for people to get insurance. This programme happens to be my favourite radio programme, so I’m incredibly grateful to Paul for covering this issue […]


This article for originally published in the Prison Service Journal in March 2012.  A deputy governor of Everthorpe Borstal at the time of writing, Rutherford had spent nearly two years in America and had observed how the US had developed the concept of ‘new careers for exoffenders’ within ‘correctional agencies’. These agencies may be better known in the UK […]


Well, it’s been an eventful week, for many reasons. I’ll perhaps write about some of these in the coming weeks, but I just quickly wanted to post my thoughts about a conference I attended on Tuesday. It was the Unlocking Britain’s Potential conference. As you’ll have seen if you’ve clicked on this link, this conference, […]


You may well have seen the recent media furore about people with a criminal record being “allowed” to appear on the popular TV show Take Me Out. I wrote about a similar issue (at that time, it was the ITV show Red or Black) back in September 2011, The recent media coverage includes: The Guardian -ITV urges review […]

guardian award

I am pleased to announced that UNLOCK, the Charity that I work at as Head of Projects & Services, won the Guardian Charity Awards in December 2011. There is an image of the award presentation below. More details on the award are available here.


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