A background screening policy is a living and breathing document that needs to be reviewed as human rights and privacy laws change and that’s why people decide to use a background check service to deal with these legal issues. As our research on the screening policies of prisons and detention facilities across the country has shown, it’s important for governments to ensure their policies are robust and that they are consistently applied.”

The research also revealed:

In a small percentage of cases, inmates were not given full access to the screening process. A small number of prisoners were required to complete a written assessment of their sexual behavior but were excluded from the process for the rest of their sentence. This situation disproportionately affected Indigenous men (39.8 per cent of those excluded), with those who self-identified as Indigenous having a disproportionately higher incidence of self-reported offending. The review of cases found that the impact of the exclusion was to result in a loss of opportunities for rehabilitation and a failure to appropriately assess the risk of reoffending. The review found that these men were not provided with any support for the assessment of their sexual behavior and their self-reported offending levels (if any) did not change as a result of this process. These men were not adequately supported or given information about the treatment they might be eligible for to assist them in preventing reoffending, and consequently they were still engaging in sexual offending.

The review also found that the service did not have the capacity to assess men in isolation, nor did it have the capacity to monitor the impact of its services on men’s sexual offending. There was also a lack of awareness and knowledge amongst staff about the consequences of men’s offending.

The review also found that the majority of male victims who did come forward to seek support in the service were not identified by the service. The Service did not have sufficient resources to meet the needs of men in the community, particularly where these were social services needs. The review found that this lack of awareness was not reflected in the service’s training and awareness development and it did not have a proper culture of prevention and intervention. The report found that the Service did not have a culture that promoted understanding, tolerance and acceptance of transgender identities.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed that it was taking “immediate action” to address the issue, adding that the review had concluded “no action should have been taken”.

“Following this review, we are taking immediate action, including taking action to ensure all new staff coming into the service have been trained in transgender awareness, awareness of appropriate gender-neutral terminology, and how to be sensitive when assisting trans people.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “We are not aware of any specific instances of bullying within the academy and we expect all schools and academies to be safe places where all pupils are happy to learn and to learn together.