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Dilemmas and Consequences of Prior Criminal Record: A Criminological Perspective from England and Wales

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 26 Issue: 2 Dated: 2013 Pages: 228-242
Terry Thomas; Bill Hebenton
Date Published
15 pages
This article examines the contemporary architecture of criminal record usage in England and Wales.
This article considers the contemporary architecture of criminal record usage in England and Wales. The authors focused upon impact on 'employment status', partly because work is often now seen as key to good health and other self-esteem indicators in the modern world. First, the authors examined in the context of England and Wales, (a) the development of the contemporary criminal record system and extent of availability of prior record information in terms of employment (and other licensing purposes) and (b) the factors that helped shape the current architecture. Second, this article outlines what is known from the British criminological literature on employment and conviction records and what more is needed in terms of criminological research. Finally, the authors considered how convictions become 'spent' - in particular the English approach to 'expungement'/sealing of the criminal record according to the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders legislation. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.