The HMIP released a report this week (Thursday) tilted “Race equality in probation follow-up: A work in progress.” The original inspection was carried out in 2021 and at that time Justin Russell remarked that this work “needs to be taken forward at pace and real and rapid progress made to further race equality in probation”. Sadly, two years on the Probation service is still failing its Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff and Service Users.
The follow on report finds:
- still no national strategy that sets out expectations and plans for service delivery to minority ethnic people on probation
- little evidence that probation staff had spoken with people on probation about their ethnicity, culture, religion, and experiences of discrimination
- planning and delivery of probation services were worse for minority ethnic people on probation than for white people
- dissatisfaction remains for minority ethnic staff, but there has been progress.
At Napo we do not underestimate the difficulties ahead. The extent of the issue is clear as evidenced by the two HMIP reports. Probation must now wake up to the scale of the problem and listen to what staff have been saying consistently for some time now.
Last year, Napo completed delivery of our Anti-Racism Roadshow, which has now been delivered in every Probation Region. The Roadshow was developed in response to the findings of our Joint Survey carried out by both the trade unions and the employer into the experience of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Staff. The findings of our survey showed that the majority of respondents considered the Probation Service to be institutionally racist. So, to meet this challenge and if we are to make lasting change, we all need to work together to confront and tackle racism.
To build on the work of the Anti –Racism Roadshow, the Napo Black Network are setting up a working group looking at how racism impacts on service users and importantly what actions can be taken to mitigate and prevent this from happening. If you are interesting in finding out more about this initiative and would like to get involved, please contact Ranjit Singh, Napo Assistant General Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.