Celebrating and promoting the best in UK prisons, probation and youth justice

EMMA MILNE (HMP Morton Hall)

EMMA MILNE (HMP Morton Hall)

COMMENDEE 2011-12: SO Milne is described as “an outstanding manager” who in a range of roles has had a real impact HMP Morton Hall through her creativity and unwavering commitment to decency.


[Emma Milne gives her account of the work for which she was awarded a Commendation]

I took up position as Diversity Manager in 2007, initially working to achieve compliance for the audit baselines in the areas of Diversity and Race Equality. I developed this work further to take account of the recommendations of HMCIP. Work centred around areas such as introducing a diversity topic of the month in addition to the country of the month. Displays were put up for both prisoners and staff with a further addition of providing a monthly National meal in the prisoner dining hall and later the staff bistro. Diversity events took the form of monthly quizzes around the diversity topic of the month with an annual and Christmas Diversity event focusing on all strands of diversity. Around 70% of the population engaged in these either watching or taking part. Regular prisoner focus groups were set up to build confidence in the Diversity team and a group of 6-8 diversity prisoner representatives promoted the work. The most recent HMCIP follow up report 2011 commented that the Diversity team was fully integrated into the life of the prison, with the Race Equality audit in 2009 awarding a Green rating with over 90% compliance. Many Equality Impact Assessments completed at Morton Hall were circulated as good practice examples throughout the region.

The Personal Officer Scheme training package was developed with Cambridge University. I used the research carried out to formulate a training package that suited the needs of the staff working in a majority foreign national establishment. A large piece of this work relied on prisoners feeling confident to discuss their experiences both good and bad of personal officers throughout their time in custody. This video footage was edited by the team and formatted into a training guide used as the basis for staff discussion and debate as part of the overall training. A number of staff attended this training and feedback about the course was good.

I was seconded to the IRC project Team in January 2010 preparing the establishment for the re-role to an Immigration Removal centre. This work involved looking at changes required to ensure the centre met UKBA’s detention service orders and additionally the HMIP expectations for detention centres. Engaging with external and internal stakeholders formed much of this process to include other IRC’s, voluntary organisations and UKBA staff.

A key part of this role was to develop a training package that could be delivered to all staff to prepare them for the changes from a custodial enviornnent to one of detention. I formulated the package based on research from voluntary organisations and other Immigration centres we visited. The package was delivered to all staff in preparation for the re-role. Other work included evidencing the staffing requirement and core day for the centre, publishing a newsletter with up to date information, holding focus groups and open days with staff of all grades to discuss and disseminate information about the changes ahead and facilitating shadowing for staff at male establishments.

My secondment with Lincolnshire Probation Trust (LPT) commenced in October 2010. Part of my job specification was to ensure LPT met legislation in the area of Equality & Diversity with Equality & Diversity embedded into all areas. This work involved re-writing the Single Equality Scheme, producing and monitoring an action plan around 4 core objectives, setting up a strategic Equality & Diversity committee to meet quarterly and completion of Equality Impact Assessments to reduce areas highlighted as a risk around the protected characteristics for both staff and offenders. Training was delivered to over 200 staff within LPT focusing on developing confidence in staff in the area of Equality & Diversity and providing information on the changes brought about with the introduction of the Equality Act. This ensured staff were up to date with legislation and could adapt and use this in their work with offenders. As a result of my work at LPT, my secondment has been extended by 12 months incorporating 1 day per week to monitor and continue to embed Equality & Diversity into the organisation.


[The following article appeared in issue 4 of the Butler Trust’s magazine, Inspire]

Emma Milne received a commendation for her work as diversity manager at HMP Morton Hall. With a prison population that included 70 per cent foreign nationals and more than 50 nationalities, she set about improving services and creating a culture where diversity was understood and celebrated.

As well as introducing training and development for staff, she ran successful initiatives such as a ‘country of the month’ display, sharing information around the prison and a meal from that country, and organising dance, music, drama and costume. The project expanded to include prison radio and a media facility for information films, and the 2011 inspectorate team reported ‘an enthusiastic and resourceful diversity team’ that was ‘fully integrated into the life of the prison’.

Emma’s skills have also been used to develop and pilot an innovative personnel officer training package and she has been project manager during Morton Hall’s successful transition to an immigration removal centre. She has been recognised as an outstanding manager, whose open communication style makes sure prisoners’ anxieties are allayed and everyone feels informed. Emma’s governor credits her with being at the heart of Morton Hall’s recent successes and commented that ‘there are few people I have worked with who stand out above anyone else and Emma is one of those.’

For more information: contact Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre

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