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Prisoners: Racial Harassment

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many racial incidents were reported by prisoners during 2008; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of subsequent investigations. (253153)

In 2008 there were 8,911 incidents of alleged racism reported by prisoners—of those 2,849 were about the behaviour of other prisoners and 6,062 were concerned with the actions of members of staff. A small proportion consist of allegations of misconduct by staff and all such matters are subject to disciplinary investigation under the code of conduct and discipline.

All investigations into reported acts of racism are overseen and signed off by the Governor or Deputy Governor. In addition the area manager conducts bi-annual checks of a random' sample of investigations.

‘Race Review 2008’ recently published by NOMS and available in the Library sets out the current assessment of race equality in the prison service, including the effectiveness of these systems and plans for work further to improve them.