Young Review welcomes the Government response to the Lammy Review
For immediate release
The Young Review welcomes the Government response to the Lammy Review
In September of this year David Lammy MP published his review into the treatment of and outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The review highlights the key points in the system (post-arrest) which produce unequal outcomes for BAME people and makes a number of clear recommendations to address them.
The Young Review Independent Advisory Group has been established for two years and has worked closely with the MOJ and HMPPS on improving the outcomes of young black and Muslim men in the offender management system. It is chaired by Baroness Young of Hornsey and BTEG provides the secretariat and policy support. The Young Review is committed to ensuring that action is taken to address the issues that lead to unfair experiences and outcomes for young black/and or Muslim offenders in the CJS. Our vision is a criminal justice system that is representative of society and delivers fair outcomes.
Ahead of the launch of the Government’s response to the Lammy review members of the Young Review Independent Advisory Group, including Baroness Lola Young and other civil society representatives, met with David Lidington MP, Secretary of State for Justice. We welcomed the Government’s timely response and the Secretary of State’s personal commitment to addressing the challenge of ethnic disproportionality across the criminal justice system.
Baroness Lola Young, Chair of the Young Review said:
“The government’s response to the Lammy review demonstrates an acknowledgement of the need for clear leadership to tackle disproportionality in or Criminal Justice System. However, if we are to achieve meaningful change that builds trust and confidence, and improves the outcomes for black and/or Muslim offenders; the government must commit to greater external scrutiny and involvement of BAME led voluntary sector organisations in the process for monitoring departmental progress on the commitments contained in this much welcomed response.”
The response articulates the government’s belief that nobody should be treated differently because of their background and provides a comprehensive response to the specific recommendations made by the Lammy review, we particularly welcome the commitment to create a Race and Ethnicity Board made up of the key statutory partners in the CJS to drive the implementation of the government’s response.
However, the Lammy review also highlights the importance of addressing the trust deficit in the CJS existing within BAME communities. We believe that trust cannot be built in the absence of the involvement of BAME-led voluntary sector organisations in the implementation and scrutiny of the government’s progress against the commitments in its response. Therefore, although we welcome the establishment of a Race and Ethnicity Board, in our opinion it is imperative that the governance structures are inclusive and representative and ensure full participation from external civil society groups. To that end we would encourage the government to consider including external representation on the group.
We would also like to see a commitment from the Government to ensure that the relevant statutory organisations produce and publish their action plans to address the Lammy review recommendations so that they can be held to account by the communities that they serve. In particular we believe that the Youth Justice Board must prioritise the development of a public action plan to address the significant disproportionality within the youth justice system where a staggering 45% of young people in custody are from BAME backgrounds.
The Young Review recently launched an audit on Police and Crime Plans and race equality. One of the conclusions from this research is that the challenge of ethnic disproportionality within the youth justice system requires a response beyond the narrow parameters of the justice system and must address the broader pathways in to the youth justice system from education, the care system, children and adolescent mental health provision and policing. We acknowledge the complexity of this challenge but we would like to see a commitment to expand the government’s response beyond the parameters of criminal justice agencies.
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