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October 28 2013

One in Three Scottish Men 'Likely to Have a Criminal Record'

"More than a third of men and almost one in ten women in Scotland are likely to have at least one criminal conviction, according to a new report. The figures were revealed in a research paper examining changes to the law governing when criminal convictions are considered spent. In was produced in response to a Scottish Government consultation on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) to be launched this summer. The act has been criticised for not achieving the right balance between protecting the public and allowing people to put their previous offending behaviour behind them and get back into employment. Concerns have been raised that rehabilitation periods set out in law are too long and offenders face stigma while waiting for a criminal record to expire. Disclosure Scotland processes more than one million applications for basic disclosure of criminal convictions every year. A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: ""The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 has been on the statue books for nearly 40 years and it is important to ensure the legislation still operates in line with its original purposes of balancing the need to protect the public whilst allowing ex-offenders to be rehabilitated from their previous offending behaviour."""