On the 19 April 2016 Pink News reported that a government commissioned review has found that prison chaplains have routinely distributed homophobic literature to prisoners.

On the 19 April 2016 Pink News reported that a government commissioned review has found that prison chaplains have routinely distributed homophobic literature to prisoners.

The report, ordered last year by Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove for the Ministry of Justice, is still awaiting official publication and as such we cannot comment on its content or any particular incidents highlighted within it. However, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the executive agency which runs Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS), is committed to treating all people fairly. They insist on respectful and polite behaviour from staff, offenders and others who they work with, but recognise that discrimination, harassment and bullying can still happen and take quick and appropriate action whenever they find them.

Spirit, the LGBT network for the Ministry of Justice and Galips, the LGBT network for HMPS, are engaged on this issue. Charlotte Jackson, the Chair of Spirit stated:

“Whilst I cannot comment on the specifics of the report, we are mindful that homophobia can still be an issue, both in the workplace and wider society. It highlights the importance of LGBT networks working collaboratively with the business and other diversity networks on promoting LGBT awareness, facilitating diversity training and developing policy to safeguard against homophobia, both amongst staff and within its service delivery. We work to ensure that the Department has, and enforces, a zero tolerance approach to discrimination.”

The NOMS Equality, Rights and Decency Group stated:

“NOMS provides policy and guidance regarding LGBT prisoners and staff. We consult with a wide range of external organisations such as Stonewall and A:Gender who have helped steer parts of our policy development that potentially could have the most impact on our LGB and transgender prisoners and staff. Further to this, we are supporting the current review relating to transgender offenders in order to further our understanding of the specific needs of this group.

“NOMS is committed to fairness for all and we treat our prisoners and with decency and respect. We recognise that discrimination, harassment and bullying can nevertheless occur and we take prompt and appropriate action whenever this is discovered.”


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