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“Perceptions of race and discrimination in the Criminal Justice System remain an additional negative aspect of rehabilitation.

Yet if offenders are to be successful at accessing the complex resettlement process, they personally need to have focus, motivation and support to achieve this. This is difficult if others hold negative views of your race and ethnicity.

Resettlement will be most effective when it is seen as an integral part of a socially inclusive life, rather than an isolated service.

Clinks welcome this report as it suggests the voluntary sector, who have experience of dealing with excluded individuals and complex social structures, may be ideally placed to achieve successful offender resettlement.”

Clive Martin, Director, Clinks


This report sets out the findings of research into the resettlement needs and experiences of black, Asian and minority ethnic (henceforth BAME) prisoners and ex-prisoners.

This research was commissioned by Clinks, and funded by the Tackling Race Inequalities Fund of the Department for Communities and Local Government. The background to the study was the recognition of the critical importance of resettlement provision for offenders, and the evidence of continuing direct and indirect racial discrimination across the criminal justice system as a whole.

The study addressed the following questions:

1 What are the major resettlement needs of offenders from BAME groups?

2 How do BAME offenders’ needs differ from those of non-BAME offenders?

3 What are BAME offenders’ experiences of resettlement services?

4 Should specialist resettlement services be made available for BAME offenders?

Many divergent views were expressed by the prisoners, ex-prisoners and service providers who participated in the study. Some of these differences in opinion could have been predicted: it was not entirely surprising that while most of the prisoner and ex-prisoner respondents complained that resettlement services were poor or lacking, service providers gave more positive assessments of the quality and range of provision. But it was also notable that among the prisoner and ex-prisoner respondents, and among the service providers, views on the relevance of ethnicity to resettlement needs and provision were mixed – reflecting the multifaceted, contested nature of the subject under study.

Publish date: 8th December 2010

Authors: Jessica Jacobsen, Coretta Philips, Kimmett Edgar

Published by: Clinks and Prison Reform Trust