Our History

Our origins are unique and rooted within the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Arooj was set up in 2007 by Tariq Mahmood after discussions with a group of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) professionals working with or had an interest in the CJS and third sector representatives. At that time there was little or no formal support for BAME / Muslim offenders during custody and/or upon release. Our aim was to provide support to both offenders and local prisons to help it engage with BAME and Muslim communities.

Held first meeting with HMP Kirkham Governor
Invited to sit on HMP Kirkham Race Equality Action Group (REAG), with emphasis on ensuring that all aspects of Equality and Diversity are met

Organised an Open Day for BAME communities to visit HMP Kirkham, over 50 attendees

Began BAME Prisoner Drop-in Sessions (DIS) at HMP Kirkham
HMP Kirkham requested Arooj to undertake independent Quality Assurance Assessment of complaints submitted by prisoners called Diversity Incidents Report Forms (DIRFS).
Arooj provided feedback to the Deputy Governor and the Equalities Manager

Opening of Arooj Offices by HMP Kirkham Governor

Started to delivery BAME Drop-in Sessions at a further two Prisons
Arooj were invited to sit on REAG at three prisons
Arooj were Runners-Up in Best Community Organisation of the Year, awarded by University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN).
Our volunteers received awards in recognition of their services.

Started pilot project at Preston Prison – To improve engagement of BAME and Muslim prisoners with Prison Drug Treatment Services

Completed Survey of BAME and Muslim Ex-offenders and published findings ‘Reducing offending within BAME and Muslim Communities’

Delivered workshops for BAME/Muslim Female prisoners at HMP Styal
Undertook research in partnership with Lancashire Probation Trust and UCLAN. Published finding ‘Reaching Out’

Arooj became a third party reporting centre for HATE CRIME

Undertook research in partnership with Leeds University and UCLAN. Published findings ‘Faith, Family and Crime’