In January 2016 we participated in a seminar at the House of Lords, organised by the Zahid Mubarak Trust (ZMT) and hosted by our patron Lord David Ramsbotham.
Zahid Mubarak was murdered by his cellmate in Feltham young offenders’ institute in 2000. Subsequent campaigning by his family resulted in the commissioning of a public inquiry into his death. The Commission for Racial Equality also carried out an inquiry into wider issues of institutional racism in the prison system, which reported in 2003 and found systemic failings.
The remit of the seminar on this occasion was to consider what progress, if any, had been made since the 2006 Keith Report of the public inquiry.
We have worked with ZMT since it was set up in 2009 and have been involved in a number of initiatives designed to monitor the extent to which prisons have adopted recommendations coming out of the Keith Report. We will continue to do this in the future.
However, unfortunately, we had to report to the recent seminar that our current experience is not positive. We reported that our telephone advice line continues to receive a high number of calls from prisoners who have suffered racist treatment and whose complaints have not been properly investigated.