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Young Review welcomes open ethnicity data but warns action must follow

News Release

Young Review welcomes open ethnicity data but warns action must follow

The Cabinet Office’s commitment to publish data on race disparities, on a new Ethnicity Facts and Figures website launched today, has been welcomed by the chair of the Young Review into improving outcomes for young black and Muslim men in the Criminal Justice System.  However, Baroness Lola Young warns today that “putting the spotlight on disparity should be the just first step in tackling the discrimination that permeates every part of British life.”

Baroness Young said: 

“Of course, data on how ethnicity affects one’s everyday life is extremely important and I welcome the initiative.  There should be no doubt that race and background play a significant role in how people are treated by institutions and their prospects in life.  But this is a starting point.  Data shouldn’t just confirm what we know, but should change how we think and act. We must hold institutions and agencies to account and use this evidence to change the attitudes and practice of the systems and institutions on which we all rely.”

The Young Review, along with the recent Lammy Review, has made a series of recommendations in response to data on highlighting the unequal treatment of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in the Criminal Justice System.  A key Young Review proposal was to bring data together to enable greater understanding and scrutiny of the range of inequalities experienced by BAME communities and to better inform responses to address them. 

As the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website is launched, the Young Review published four key facts on the justice system that it believes everyone should know and that should be on the new website:

• 45% of children and young people currently held in custody are from a BAME background1

• BAME people convicted of a drug offence are 240% more likely to receive a prison sentence at Crown Court than white people convicted of a drug offence2

• Black women are about 25% more likely than white women to be sentenced to custody at crown court 3

• Muslim prisoners account for 13.4% of the prison population compared with 4.2% of the general population in the 2011 Census 4.

Baroness Young added: “Putting the spotlight on disparity is a welcome first step in tackling the discrimination that permeates every part of British life. We now require a focus on policy responses at both the national and local level to put the challenges of the systemic inequality experienced by Britain’s BAME communities at the forefront of political and institutional leadership and public policy development.”

Ends

Note to editors

Exploratory analysis of 10-17 year olds in the youth secure estate by black and other minority ethnic groups - Ministry of Justice

2 Lammy Review - Final Report

3 Women in Prison - Double Disadvantage

4 Young Review - Final Report

 

For media enquiries or requests to interview Young Review members please call Mark Blake on 0207 832 5807 or Jon Flinn on 07811 397122.