Prisons face racial discrimination probe

The Commission for Racial Equality has launched an official investigation into racial discrimination in the prison service after revelations that ethnic minority staff at Brixton prison were racially harassed.

Brixton is one of three institutions that the CRE will scrutinise in its investigation, after employment tribunals found evidence of institutional racism at the prison.

The tribunals upheld complaints made by prison officer Claude Johnson that governors ignored complaints from employees of racial harassment.

If the investigation reveals evidence of unlawful racial discrimination, the CRE can force the Prison Service to comply with a legally binding Non Discrimination Notice, requiring action to stop racially discriminating practices and behaviour.

The CRE will also investigate the racist murder of Zahid Mubarek, an inmate at Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution and concerns raised by inspectors at Parc prison.

By Richard Staines

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