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The Lammy Review: Criminal Justice For Black Asian and Minority Ethnic People

Labour MP David Lammy has prepared The Lammy Review: An independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System.

The Lammy Report, requested by David Cameron in January 2016, highlights a significant lack of trust in the criminal justice system for individuals who are black, asian or minority ethnic (BAME).

Worryingly, the report finds that for drug offences, the likelihood of receiving a custodial sentence is 240% higher for BAME offenders than white offenders.  Despite making up just 14% of the population, BAME men and women make up 25% of prisoners, and over 40% of young prisoners in custody.  The report also highlights a lack of trust in legal aid solicitors, who BAME defendants see as representing ‘the system’ rather than their individual interests.

The Lammy Report presents 35 recommendations – some of which can easily be achieved.

One recommendation, for example, is that the Crown Prosecution Service should redact all identifying information, such as name and ethnicity, from files passed to them by the police before they review the file to make a charging decision.  This would remove the possibility of any conscious or unconscious bias affecting the charging decision made.

Further recommendations suggest that it should be made possible to view sentences for individual offences at individual courts, broken down by demographic characteristics, including gender and ethnicity.

Another recommendation calls for the involvement of community members such as schools and other professionals in youth offender panels.

The full report is available here.

If you are a person of black, asian or ethnic minority background, Forrest Williams can help.  We are committed to providing a fair and unbiased service for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.  Call us now on 01623 600645.

 

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