A new report just published by the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain (IBC) highlights the experiences of members of the Irish Travelling community in prisons in England and Wales. Irish Travellers make up between 0.6% and 1% of the entire prison population.
Surveys were completed in prisons across the UK and focus groups with Travellers were also conducted across nine prisons. They discussed issues such as discrimination, family life, education and literacy, and mental and physical health.
The main finding from the report include:
- There is no overall strategy with dealing with members of the Travelling, Roma or Gypsy communities
- Irish Travellers are regularly subjected to racism and discrimination
- 59.3 % of Irish Traveller prisoners were identified as requiring basic educational intervention
- 26.1% of Irish Traveller prisoners were identified as having one or more mental illnesses
- 64.7% of female Traveller prisoners are identified as suffering from a mental illness
- 46.3% of all Irish Traveller prisoners are young adults (aged 18 to 21)
- Read the full Voices Unheard report here