The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act is designed to improve the chances of offenders being fully rehabilitated into society by removing some of the barriers that they face. It defines the period of time during which all cautions and convictions are regarded as unspent and must be disclosed in certain instances, for example, when applying for employment or insurance. When a caution or conviction has become spent, the offender is treated as rehabilitated in respect of that offence and is not obliged to declare it for most purposes.
This factsheet provides an overview of how the Act has changed as of 10 March 2014. It also details the new rehabilitation periods for adults and children.