The Youth Justice Board (YJB), has produced materials that highlight where disproportionality occurs to help bring about change.
The findings are sobering. From early years through to adult life, there is compelling evidence that children from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds fare worse than the general population.
In general, BAME children appear to be over-represented at most stages of the youth justice system. In most cases, this is driven by the over-representation of black children, who are more likely to be arrested, face harsher penalties and are less likely to break free from a cycle of offending.
Colin Allars, Chief Executive of the YJB, said:
Present levels of disproportionality affecting children across the Criminal Justice System are unacceptable.
A child’s ethnicity should play no part in their experience of the youth justice system and that is why disproportionality is one of six priorities for the Youth justice Board.
We know that the changes needed are complex but we are determined to play our part. The YJB has published new materials that show how disproportionality is evident in multiple areas including indicators of poverty, arrest rates and youth custody. It follows the journey of the child to show where disproportionality occurs.
Alongside publishing the journey of the child materials, we are working with partners, including the police and government to make changes to their practices and to raise awareness and funding pathfinders to develop and promote good practice.
The materials include: