The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 ("the 1974 Act") provides the legal framework relating to the requirements falling on people with previous criminal activity to disclose this information in certain situations, such as applying for a job. The 1974 Act has, for a variety of reasons, been subject to criticism since it was first introduced and is now viewed as over-complicated, poorly understood and, consequently, not properly applied in practice.
Following discussions with key stakeholders, and in order to give all interested parties the opportunity to put forward their views on whether this framework should be modernised and reformed, the Scottish Government published ‘A Discussion Paper on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974’. The purpose of the paper was to explain how the legislation operates and gather the evidence and views necessary to help consider what changes may be required to modernise and improve the legislation. The discussion paper contained 36 questions relating to potential reform of the legislation.
Forty-one responses were received between 27 August 2013 and the beginning of 2014. This report provides an analysis of the responses to the 36 questions asked in the Discussion Paper.
It also outlines the main findings from the responses to each of the chapters within the discussion paper and provides and analysis of the responses to each question asked.