COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Children's Society highlights plight of jailed black youths

The Children's Society is publishing a report that alleges a culture of rampant racism in England's young offender institutions.

The charity hopes that by highlighting the prevalence of the problem, it can compel prison management to tackle racism and discrimination among prison staff.

It is calling for an overhaul of the Prison Service's complaints and recruitment procedures, after its investigation found that most black inmates interviewed were unaware of the official procedures.

The Playing the Game report contradicts recent official prison inspection reports claiming that young offender institutions had good race relations.

Following the release of the research, the society wants the Prison Service to commit to improve anti-racism staff training, replace the complaints monitoring system with one that inmates can understand and use, and raise the profile of race-relations officers.

"These young people's experiences are shocking," said Sharon Moore, youth justice policy manager at The Children's Society. "We hope the Prison Service will use the research to drastically improve the experiences of black young people in custody."

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