Irish Penal Reform Trust

UK: Reporting on Equalities in Prisons

6th September 2021

The role of the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) in England and Wales is to monitor places of detention, report on the condition and experiences of detainees, and prevent inhumane treatment by ensuring proper standards of care and decency are maintained. IMB reports have the potential to have a substantial impact on prisoners, individual prison establishments, the prison system as a whole, and prison policy.

This report by the Zahid Mubarek Trust (ZMT) focuses on how the IMB monitors equalities work in prisons in England and Wales, not how prisons deliver equalities work. The aim of this study was to better understand the extent of the reporting and its potential impact on improving transparency, accountability and standards on equalities in prisons.

Analysis of 115 reports from 2019 uncovered some inconsistencies and significant gaps in how the IMBs report on equalities in prisons, primarily with respect to the number of equalities areas that are being reported on and the depth of reporting in these areas. The report identified six key areas for improvement, including timely publication of reports, consistency of reports, training in equality and diversity, and a mandatory section on equalities.

Read How Do Independent Monitoring Boards Report on Equalities in Prisons? on the ZMT website here.

Co-author of the report and Co-Director of the Zahid Mubarek Trust, Khatuna Tsintsadze, is a member of the Steering Group for IPRT’s Access to Rights and Justice project.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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