Minorities and non English Speakers

In a society which is multi cultural such as the UK, it is somewhat difficult to define a minority, and the prison systems cater for almost everybody. If your religion requires the worship of Mario the Plumber, the chaplaincy within the prison will struggle to cope with your demands (!) however all the mainstream faiths are catered for with services organised on a regular basis and study/reading groups held. Religious items such as the Bible ,Quran, etc are freely available on the canteen list for purchase.

The prison regime reflects the different demands of the various beliefs of prisoners. There will always be a Muslim/Kosher option on the menu, as well as a vegetarian choice.

If the prisoner is a non-English speaker the majority of prison’s have inmates fluent in many languages who act as an unofficial interpreter. The prison will also try to arrange that the individual shares a cell or is located close to other prisoners of the same culture/language however within the prison system there are no segregation and the prisoner will held within the general prison population. During the difficult first weeks in prison the prison will also arranged for the non-English speaking prisoner to have regular dialogue with the interpreter (usually called the Foreign Prisoner Representative) so that any problems can be addressed. The inability to speak English, or to read and write, do not mean that the prisoner is exempt from the duties and responsibilities of all prisoners to attend induction meetings etc, or to work or under go educational programs

How Prisons Work