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news round-up 8.9.17

(Posted on 08/09/17)


Lammy: Social Timebomb of BAME People in Custody.

"When David Cameron asked me to conduct a review into the over-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice system, I thought I was being set up to fail," David Lammy writes in the Guardian this week. "So many of the causes of, and answers to, the problem lie outside the criminal justice system: poverty, lone-parent families, school exclusions, and growing up in the care system. And what more is there left to say about stop and search?

"But having looked at the evidence over the past 18 months, my judgment is that we have a significant problem in the criminal justice system itself, and that the treatment of BAME young people shows this problem is getting worse.

"Minority ethnic children make up a growing proportion of those offending for the first time, reoffending, and serving custodial sentences. Today 41% of under-18s in custody are from minority backgrounds, compared with 25% a decade ago. Young black people are now nine times more likely to be in youth custody than young white people. I expected to find the youth justice system laser-focused on this issue. Instead, I have seen large parts of the system indifferent to issues of race.

"The disproportionate number of BAME young people in the justice system is a social timebomb. It is beyond time to stop talking about this problem and to act."

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