Resource: Race Relations in Prison from HM Inspectorate of Prisons


Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons has released a paper addressing the dearth of information representing adult women from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

The publication of the National Service Framework for Women and the Prison Service Order 4800: Women Prisoners have gone some way to provide a strategic approach to the delivery of services for women offenders. However, there is, as yet, no diversity strategy and no guidance on the commissioning of services for minority groups such as women and minority ethnic offenders, let alone minority ethnic women offenders. There is no reference at all to the specific needs of women in the NOMS Race Review, published in December 2008 to chart progress over the last five years against the findings of the Commission for Racial Equality’s inquiry and the Prison Inspectorate’s thematic review of race in prisons. Black and minority ethnic women are therefore further marginalised by the prison system; they could almost be described as ‘forgotten minorities’.

This paper provides an overview of the different experiences and specific needs of minority ethnic adult women in prison, highlighting the contextual effects of multiple discrimination; being a ‘woman’, from a ‘minority ethnic’ group, often from ‘minority nationality groups’ and from ‘lower socioeconomic’ backgrounds.

The full PDF can be downloaded here.


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