Racial Identities, Social Relations, and Prison Policies

Coretta Phillips

in The Multicultural Prison

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697229
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191760556 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

Racial Identities, Social Relations, and Prison Policies

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Moving from the macro to the meso level, this chapter contextualises contemporary penal climates in relation to the management of race in US and UK prisons. In England and Wales, the pivotal role of the Macpherson Report (1999) and its exposure of institutional racism in the criminal justice system, the public inquiry into the racist murder of Zahid Mubarek in prison in 2000 and the damning Commission for Racial Equality (2003) formal investigation into Her Majesty's Prison Service, are all considered. The chapter then outlines a new race equality agenda which can be seen alongside broader transformations in the Prison Service's organizational management of prisoners articulated through moral discourses of decency, fairness, and respect. The chapter recognises that social relations in prison, as in wider society, must also be understood in the context of ‘new ethnicities’, new social divisions of whiteness, nationality and religion, as well as racialization, identity and multiculture.

Keywords: prisoner identities; social relations; racialization; multiculturalism; institutional racism; race equality

Chapter.  9948 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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