From criminal record to Queen’s honour…

It is perhaps one of the greatest features of the honours system, that a previous criminal record has little bearing on the likelihood of receiving a Queen’s honour. Quite rightly, endless punishment is no longer a feature of our justice system or our society, and the meritocratic honours process is no exception to this rule.

Honours, awards and decorations are bestowed upon individuals and organisations whose efforts and achievements enrich the lives of others.

The committees responsible for determining honours are concerned chiefly with the end results, the scope of the nominees’ achievements and the breadth of their impact. A previous brush with the wrong side of the law is often only relevant to a nomination if it was this experience that played a defining role in shaping their later achievements.

One of the most inspirational stories from a recent Honours List is the tale of Justice Williams, a social entrepreneur from Birmingham (pictured above at 10 Downing Street). In 2010, at just 29 years of age, she was the youngest black woman to receive an MBE.  But her journey to The Palace was by no means an easy ride:

A 15-day prison sentence for theft had previously ended any hope she had of pursuing a career in the legal profession. But her experience inside inspired her to enter voluntary work, and from there, she has gone on to achieve great things. She started Tru Life, an urban street lifestyle magazine for young women. The magazine enables young people to get media experience and get published. Justice says “It’s about women that other women get inspiration from, women who have worked hard to climb the career ladder or start their own business – positive role models.”

Whilst time in the prison sense may not be of the essence in the assessment of Queen’s honours nominees, time in the temporal sense, most certainly is of the essence when it comes to getting a nomination in the queue for consideration.

At present it takes an estimated 12 to 18 months to be considered, and the nominee must still be active at the time of the nomination. So if there is someone you would like to nominate, you really should act now!

Call us today to find out how you can make that nomination. Awards Intelligence will treat your enquiry in the strictest confidence, we are not here to judge, only to guide, advise and give you the best possible chance of success with your nomination. 

* Please note, individuals and organisations featured in this article provide examples of the broad range of candidates considered for a variety of awards and honours andare not necessarily connected to Awards Intelligence.