How are UK prisons progressing with equalities?
Zahid Mubarek Trust has developed a success criteria that shows good practice, with information based on the most recent Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons reports. The data presented is sourced from the Ethnicity, Diversity and Faith section on the reports (under Respect).
As a charity who works to reduce racial inequality in prison, this table has a particular focus of Ethnicity and Religion and doesn’t necessarily account for experiences of inmates with other protected characteristics, such as disabilities.
We decided to use a red/amber/green system so that the table was simple but descriptive:
Red | Not meeting goal at all
Amber | Needs improvement
Green | Successful in this area
If an area is not covered in the HMIP report, the cell is left blank.
There are 10 characteristics protected by the 2010 Equalities act. These are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
Chaplaincy refers to the prisons Chaplain, a religious fig43 ure who provides support to the inmates.
A Protected characteristic forum is an opportunity for inmates, who have a particular characteristic, to meet up, usually with prisoner representatives and staff, to discuss there needs and connect.
Prisoner equality representatives
A prisoner equality representative is a prisoner (usually one per wing) who is assigned to take any questions or grievances about equalities, advise on the complaints procedures, and report back to management.
Discrimination incident reporting forms (DIRFS)
Discrimination incident forms were introduced in 2011, as a direct way for inmates and staff to report incidents of discrimination.
Equalities action plan
An equalities action plan is a plan produced by management in the prison, to improve equality processes and make every prisoner feel safe and respected.
When Her Majesty’s inspectorate for prisons undertakes prison inspections, they also get prisoners and staff to fill in survey’s, as a method of collecting a lot of data and understanding experiences first hand.
|HMP Swansea||HMP Whatton||HMP Wymot||HMP Erlestoke||HMP Hewell||HMP Preston||HMP Whitemoor|
|BAME population based on HMIP report||12.3%||12%||25%||50%|
|Does the prison have...|
|Strategic oversight of equalities|
|Effective data management which monitors progress and protected characteristics?||yellow||yellow||red||red||red||yellow||red|
|An equalities action plan that leads to change that is monitored?||yellow||yellow||red|
|Effective and well attended equalities meetings?||yellow||red||yellow||yellow||yellow|
|Effective engagement with prisoners|
|Protected characteristic forums with good attendance from inmates and staff?||yellow||yellow||green||yellow||yellow|
|Celebration of different cultural events, in order to raise awareness and acceptance?||red|
|Effective prisoner equality representatives who are listened to by staff?||green|
|External community representatives provide strategic advice and support to|
|Discrimination incident reporting forms|
|How many DIRFs were there during the reporting period?|
|Good awareness of the DIRF process throughout inmates and staff?||yellow||red|
|Appropriate and timely responses to DIRFs?||red||green||red||red|
|Effective scrutiny of DIRFs by a community organisation?||green||red|
|Effective operational resources?|
|A senior member of staff whose role is ring fenced for equalities, such as an Equalities manager?||red||red||green|
|A team of staff who help to manage equalities?||yellow|
|Adequate resources to meet inmates religious needs?|
|An effective Chaplaincy that provides support for different faiths present in the prison?||green||green||green||green||green||green||green|
|Adequate resources to meet the needs of Foreign nationals and/or Non English speakers?|
|Adequate resources for non-English speakers?||red||yellow||red|
|Adequate help for foreign nationals, such as immigration surgeries, or immigration officials visiting?||red|
|HMIP Survey results|
|HMIP survey results that show no differential treatment of inmates with protected characteristics?||red||red||green||red||red|
|HMIP survey results that show the majority of prisoners feel safe and respected, with no disparity between prisoners with or without protected characteristics?||red||red||red||red|
|COVID19 and equalities|
|Awareness of how COVID19 could impact inmates with protected characteristics and action taken to minimise this?||yellow||green||red|