Prison Reform Trust director, Peter Dawson has written to Jo Farrar, Second Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice and Chief Executive Officer, HM Prison and Probation Service to seek clarification on the delivery of the HMPPS Race Action Programme.

The 3-year programme has just 12 months left to run, but there is no publicly available detail about how progress will be assessed; what resources are available; what the timescales for delivery are; or what objectives it seeks to meet. What limited information has been made available has a disproportionate focus on staff, with only brief mentions of prisoners.

In the letter, Peter Dawson writes:

“We are surprised that the section on data only describes the ethnic makeup of the prison population (over which HMPPS has little control), but not the evidence of disproportionate outcomes in use of force, categorisation, disciplinary procedures, complaints handling, and other areas of the prisoner experience regularly highlighted by the inspectorate and other independent observers.”

A copy of the letter is available by clicking here. A copy of the response will be published when we receive it.

Beverley Thompson OBE, former HM Prison Service Race & Equalities Adviser & Board Member, has written in the latest edition of our Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile, that the prison and probation service has regressed in its efforts to tackle racial disparities. You can click here to read her assessment.