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The CJA speaks to ITV News about racism in women’s prisons

We are grateful to journalist Monifa Bobb-Simon at ITV News for featuring Towards Race Equality, a three-part report produced by the CJA and the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMB) which highlights the appalling racism experienced by many Black, Asian and minoritised women in prison.

Our Director, Nina Champion, discussed the findings of the report.

Read the report

It shows us that ethnic minority women in prison in 2022 are being held back from progressing. They are not getting equal access to employment and education opportunities as others. They are experiencing daily instances of racism and of micro-aggressions … which is compounding trauma that they have already got from the past.

Nina Champion, Director of the Criminal Justice Alliance


Poet Lady Unchained shared her experiences of racism in prison. Her book of poetry, Behind Bars, explores the impact of Lady Unchained’s contact with the criminal justice system on her identity.

That’s when I realised: Okay, racism really does exist … because I hadn’t lived through survival of racism before prison.

Lady Unchained, poet and author of Behind Bars


Indy Cross, CEO of Agenda Alliance, emphasised the importance of involvement of ‘by and for’ organisations, and a workforce that reflects the diversity of the people it is supporting.

Let’s co-produce, co-design interventions with Black women, Asian women, minoritised women. Let’s ensure we are recruiting Black, Asian and minoritised women, as well, into the prison system. That’s the only way we can tackle it. We need to act on this now.

Indy Cross, CEO of Agenda Alliance