14th July 2015
It is widely recognised that employment can aid a person in desistance from further offending. Conversely, the presence of a criminal record can act as a barrier to acquiring meaningful employment.
In April 2014, Northern Ireland introduced a process called 'Filtering Arrangements'. This referred to a process which will identify and remove old or minor convictions. This was done so with the aim of improving relations between potential employers and youth's with criminal records. This report found that the introduction of this system had a paradoxical effect. While it provides a mechanism for the non-disclosure of certain types of offences, it fails to distinguish between young people and adults. The application of the rule that only one offence may be filtered means that some groups of young people may be disproportionately effected.
The report recommends that the disclosure of criminal records should linked with the disposal the young person receives. They also suggest there is a need to further examine the long-term impact of holding/disclosure of a criminal record receieved under the age of 18.
Read the report in full here: