Select Committee on Home Affairs Second Report


4  CONCLUSION

321. While the actual numbers of young black people entering the criminal justice system are small in relation to the figures for white young people, the proportion of young black people coming into the system is unacceptable. Black communities' vast social, economic and cultural contribution to this country is being held back by the proportion of young people who are arrested, convicted, imprisoned and victimised by crime. The broader trend of overrepresentation of black people of all ages in the system is being driven by the disproportionate involvement of the young. We saw little evidence during this inquiry that overrepresentation is diminishing, and heard that it may be increasing.

322. Despite the Government's evident commitment to reducing this overrepresentation, the number of young black people in custody is growing at an alarming rate, and much faster than for the general population. Our evidence painted a picture of patchy and diffuse initiatives that are often insufficiently focused and resourced. Until such a time as the number of young black people in the criminal justice system begins to mirror that of the population as a whole, we urge government to review, revise and redouble its efforts to address overrepresentation and its causes. A great deal depends on its success in doing so.


 
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