A return to normal would be a wasted opportunity

  • Blog

A return to normal would be a wasted opportunity

The news of George Floyd’s killing has made us question how we deal with issues of race in our organisation and whether we at Unlocked need to take action. We know that we do.

Our mission at Unlocked Graduates is to break cycles of reoffending so those who are in prison do not return. Our approach is based on an understanding that the cyclical link between disadvantage and imprisonment is unfair and unjust. It is core to our existence to care deeply about the role that race and racism plays in prisons. Racism has still not been extinguished from our society and racial inequality remains unacceptably great – nowhere is this clearer than in prison.

Under any circumstances recent events should galvanise action. But it is also worth noting that, while the pandemic has been a time of real turmoil, it has also created an opportunity to change the way things are done. We do not want things to return to normal – we want to take this opportunity to rebuild a different and more equal world, and to create a new normal.

We are committed to using our position to make sure that we are doing all we can to make a real difference and truly addressing these inequalities.

We know that the best way to understand the action we need to take it to listen to our team, officers and ambassadors to help us understand what actions we need to take. We have already written to every participant on the Unlocked scheme, those that have completed it and those that will be joining us this year.

Over the next weeks and months we will be listening to their ideas, upskilling ourselves on these issues, updating the training that we offer on race and racism in prisons and reviewing the ways we tangibly champion equality and diversity in our organisation.