Written by Unlock
Share your views and help us hold the government to account
What is criminal injuries compensation?
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is a government funded scheme designed to compensate victims of violent crime. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA),
administer the Scheme and decide all claims. The rules of the Scheme and the value of payments awarded are set by Parliament and calculated according to a tariff of injuries. CICA acknowledge that “…[the award] will never fully compensate you for what you have suffered or lost – it is just society’s way of recognising that you have been a victim”. You can find out more about the scheme on our campaign page.
Since 2012 many victims of serious and violent crime are not entitled to compensation under the scheme if they have an unspent conviction.
This means that people with unspent convictions who are themselves the victim of a crime, are effectively denied their status as victims by the state. People affected by this rule have included victims of sexual abuse and other serious crimes, whose own offending can be clearly linked to the crimes committed against them and the trauma they have experienced.
In 2021 the High Court ruled that the government must hold a public consultation on this issue, following a successful challenge by a courageous woman named Kim Mitchell, who had experienced childhood sexual abuse – but had been refused compensation by the scheme due to a conviction for a public order offence.
We need to hear from you
Almost a year since the high court ruling, there is still no sign of the promised public consultation. So we’re gathering our own evidence.
We want to hear from people with criminal records and those who work supporting them, about what impact the exclusionary rule has had. If you’ve been denied compensation because of an unspent conviction, we want to hear about how this has affected you.
We’re also interested in hearing from people with criminal records more generally, about how this discriminatory rule makes you feel about your place in society.
Please take a few minutes to complete our anonymous survey. Your responses will be used to build evidence and support our campaign against this rule.