A report has revealed that prison officers have attended ‘banter workshops’ to learn how not to offend inmates.

Prison bosses at HMP Moorland in South Yorkshire sent 16 members of staff on the course as part of its equality and diversity programme.

A report on the 1,000-capacity prison released this week by Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) stated that the workshops were aimed at educating staff on what banter was acceptable and what was not.

A prison source said staff needed to be clear that references or jokes about a prisoner’s ‘protected characteristics’ which included sexual orientation, disability, age, weight, religion or nationality could put them at risk of complaints and potentially lose them their jobs under equality legislation.

The Telegraph source said:

“You certainly can’t make any jokes about someone’s weight or nationality, and any reference to disability is a complete no-no. You can hardly even take the mick out of the football team someone supports”.

The workshops were introduced after 51 complaints were made over a 12 month period. 18 were complaints involving staff and 33 were against fellow inmates.

14 of the complaints were reviewed by the IMB, the majority of which complied with the prison’s discrimination incident report form guidance.

In the report the IMB has concluded:

“Moorland prison has online equality and diversity training for staff, with 49 completing this within the last year. During the year 16 staff members attended ‘banter workshops’ discussing when banter may be deemed offensive or discriminatory”.

A prison service spokesman said:

“This short training helps us keep staff so that we can rehabilitate more offenders and ultimately cut crime”.

Thats right, banter lessons ultimately cut crime according to HMP Moorland. God forbid criminals to get offended over a joke whilst serving time in prison.

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