Press Release: 19 November 2008

On November 17th 2008, Race on the Agenda (ROTA), Clinks, NACRO, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health and the National Body of Black Prisoner Support Groups released the Race for Justice report, 'Less Equal Than Others; Ethnic Minorities and the Criminal Justice System'.

The report highlights the need for the government to act decisively in shaping policy to redress the over-representation of people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in the criminal justice system. The report highlights the fact that around 26% of the prison population in England and Wales is from a BAME background when the same groups account for 9% of the broader population. Looking at the direct experience of BAME communities of the system, it found they were more likely to be prosecuted, less likely to be cautioned, less likely to get bail and more likely to serve longer prison sentences for similar offences.

The report is backed up by the Race for Justice Campaign, a coalition of Third Sector organisations working with BAME offenders, ex-offenders and their families. Several evidence-based recommendations have been put forward to how the government and others can work effectively with the Third Sector. These recommendations will be taken forward by the coalition, with ROTA leading on a number of them.

For further information, contact Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Chief Executive of ROTA.

Download the report here.