Racially minoritised people are over represented in the criminal justice system. This needs to be addressed if we are to create a just and equal system.
Racially minoritised people are more likely to be arrested and more likely to have decisions go against them in court. They are over represented in the prison population. They are more likely to be subject to adjudication or use of force, reporting poorer experiences of prison life overall. They are over represented in probation caseloads and reoffending rates.
We need better, and more consistent, responses to reduce the number of racially minoritised people in our justice system. Some specialist voluntary sector organisations provide tailored services to racially minoritised people. However, these grassroots initiatives have been particularly affected by recent cuts in public spending and rapid changes to the local policy and commissioning environment. Find out more in our State of the sector research.
Successive reviews and reports have made recommendations to address these issues. Most recently, these have included the Lammy Review into the treatment of, and outcomes for racially minoritised people in the criminal justice system, published in September 2017. The Ministry of Justice published its response to the Lammy Review in December 2017 and is currently working to implement its recommendations.
Organisations led by and focused on racially minoritised people, which are rooted in the communities they serve, offer tailored support to racially minoritised people in the criminal justice system. These organisations are able to positively recognise and reaffirm people’s cultural identities in a way that aids desistance, and also to recognise and address experiences of discrimination, which if ignored, can be a significant obstacle to desistance.
Other voluntary sector organisations, who may not be led by racially minoritised people, in some cases offer tailored services or work in partnership with organisations led by racially minoritised people in recognition of the particular issues faced by racially minoritised people in the criminal justice system.
Are you looking for voluntary organisations working with racially minoritised people? Use the search box on the right-hand side of this page, or browse our Directory of Services.
Do you provide specialist support?
If you provide specialist services tailored for people from racially minoritised communities in prison or the community, make sure your organisation is listed on our Directory of Services - fill out a quick form to tell us about the nature of your support and the communities you work with. Help ensure individuals can find and access culturally-appropriate services for their needs.
Advising the Ministry of Justice
Clinks provides the chair and secretariat for an advisory group to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Advisory Group’s (RR3) purpose is to build a strong and effective partnership between voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system and the MoJ. There are currently two members of the RR3 with expertise and experience in providing specific support to racially minoritised people in contact with the criminal justice system.
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We welcome Richard Oldfield’s independent review of the probation Dynamic Framework, which echoes many of the issues we’ve consistently raised and recommendations that we’ve made. Read more about the review in our guest blog from Richard Oldfield: https://www.clinks.org/community/blog-posts/independent-review-probatio…