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Killers, sex offenders and drug dealers could have their criminal records wiped under new plans to stop them having to reveal their convictions to employers.
David Gauke, the justice secretary, wants a change in law so criminals will find it easier to get a job - claiming 'a regular pay cheque' will prevent them re-offending.
Rehabilitation - Offenders - Act - Prison - Sentence
Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 those who receive a prison sentence of four or more years have to disclose their conviction to employers for the rest of their lives.
But Mr Gauke, 47, believes that reducing the length of time offences need to be disclosed would 'improve people with convictions’ chances of accessing employment.'
Letter - Ministers - Month - Times - Mr
In a letter to ministers earlier this month, seen by The Times, Mr Gauke said he wanted to stop convicts having to disclose their record.
He said: 'This not only supports them to move on with their lives, it protects the public by decreasing their likelihood of reoffending, as there are few better crime-fighting tools than a regular pay cheque.
Sentences - Years - Spent - Time - Means
'And enabling sentences of over four years to become spent for the first time means those who have ceased offending will no longer have the stigma of a conviction hanging over their lives.'
The move would mean those who have served long sentences for crimes including manslaughter, violent assault and some sex offences would effectively have their criminal records wiped clean.
Crimes - Life - Sentences - Sentences - Change
Those found guilty of the most serious crimes however, which resulted in life sentences or 'indeterminate' sentences, would not be be subject to the change.
Their records would still have to be disclosed. As would those of former criminals applying for jobs that involve working with children or vulnerable adults.
Mr - Gauke - Portion - Tenure - Tory
Mr Gauke has spent a large portion of his 18-month tenure trying to disprove former Tory leader Michael Howard's claim that...
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