A report from the Traveller Movement, ‘Available but not Accessible’, reveals the barriers that Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers face in accessing activities in prison – including their experience of education. PET’s Chief Executive Jon Collins takes a look at what the report found.

Romany Gypsy and Irish Traveller people are heavily overrepresented within the criminal justice system. Despite only making up an estimated 0.1 per cent of the population, 5 per cent of people in prison identify as Romany Gypsy or Irish Traveller.

Moreover, education may be particularly important for this group given that 68 per cent of Romany Gypsy and Irish Traveller people in prison did not complete school.

This report is occasionally enraging and genuinely insightful. It is also well-timed in terms of considering what an effective prison regime should look like, with the Prison Service currently planning future regime design and new contracts for the delivery of prison education about to be tendered.

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