Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence


28.  Third supplementary memorandum submitted by the Home Office

HOME AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE FURTHER REQUEST FOR RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION DETAILS

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM RACE AND CONFIDENCE UNIT RESPONSE

  Our response to your further request is in tabular format, with publications listed alphabetically. We have categorised each publication in line with your four original criteria in the right hand column, using the key set out below. This table differs from the previous return in that none of the information listed has previously been provided. The column showing the reference to the original response to the Committee has therefore been omitted.

    A.  The nature and extent of the overrepresentation of young black people in the criminal justice system as victims, suspects and perpetrators.

    B.  Causes of young black people's overrepresentation.

    C.  Solutions to overrepresentation, including the success of existing initiatives and possible policy options for the future.

    D.  The policy and practice of data collection and monitoring of ethnic minorities' involvement with the criminal justice system.

    *  Relevant materials but not specifically relating to young Black people in the CJS.


Title and Date Catergory Reference

1.CJS RU (2006) The Criminal Justice System Race Unit's Review of Bail—unpublished C*
To understand the key drivers behind apparent disproportionality in bail decisions
Summary

The short study revealed that despite there being evidence of disproportionality in some aspects of the process there was no evidence of discriminatory practice. The investigation did reveal an inequality of service in certain specific areas such as the provision of interpreters
2.CJS RU (2006) Government Response to the Root and Branch Review of S95 Statistics on Race and the CJS D*
The Root and Branch Review provides an opportunity to move towards a strategic approach in the collection and use of ethnicity data in the CJS. This Government response sets out how the Government will develop this strategic approach, taking account of the Review's recommendations. This document also provides responses to all recommendations made.
3.CJS RU (2006) Contracting the Minimum Dataset: Invitation to Tender (ItT) Document D*
Following a consultation process on the proposals to implement a minimum dataset for ethnicity data, the contract for this work is now out to tender.
The ItT specifies that the successful contractor produces:
—The minimum dataset: mapping out the minimum data that needs to be collected to performance manage the criminal justice system locally and nationally in relation to race issues.

Supporting guidance on data collection for local practitioners responsible for collecting and using the data.

Recommendations for taking forward the implementation of the dataset identifying potential key issues and solutions.
4.Hales G, Lewis C, Silverstone D (2006) Gun crime: the market in and use of illegal firearms. Home Office Research Study 298. London: Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate A*, B*
This research seeks to address gaps with reference to the contexts within which firearms are used illegally. It also attempts to identify appropriate interventions and deterrence strategies.
Summary

Gun crime affects all ethnic groups and while some insight has been provided by this research it has by no means been conclusive. The report highlights the need for the relationship between race, ethnicity and culture to be fully explored.
The report did find that illegal firearms have become increasingly accessible to younger offenders who appear more likely to use those firearms recklessly.
5.HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) Framework for Area Effectiveness Inspections—Standards and Criteria (Inspectorate Handbook) (2006) London D*
A guidance document which sets out the standards and criteria for the Inspectorate in assessing local CPS performance
Summary

The Framework gives detailed information on each area of assessment. Each standard is broken down into its constituent parts—criteria—which will enable a detailed assessment to be made. Each criterion contains a set of subsidiary questions designed to assist areas in compiling their self assessment and to ensure a consistent approach to evidence gathering by inspectors. The framework includes criteria or questions relating to race and other diversity issues where appropriate.
6.Home Office, APA, ACPO, Centrex (2004) A Strategy for Improving Performance in Race and Diversity 2004-09. Home Office C*
The strategy and the programme that supports its delivery are fully supported by the tripartite partners: the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Home Office and the Association of Police Authorities (APA). This tripartite commitment was re-emphasised at the joint ACPO and APA Race and Diversity Champions' seminar on 14 June 2005.
Summary

The PRDLDP has introduced a completely fresh approach to equality and diversity training in the context of policing. The overarching aim of the programme is to improve performance in diversity issues by: developing knowledge and understanding, providing skills, challenging attitudes and changing behaviour. The strategy emphasises the six primary strands of diversity ie race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age and religion and belief while stressing that this is about how the police in fact treat all people. The programme emphasises individual and organisational learning and development in context, requiring formal assessment of competence for every member of the police service (including police community support officers, special constables and police staff) against relevant national standards. In summary, this programme presents a much more sophisticated and far reaching approach to diversity awareness and cultural change than the "community and race relations training" for police that pre-dated this strategy.
7.Home Office Police Standards Unit (PSU) and the ACPO Strategic Criminal Use of Firearms Group (2005) Gun Crime Preventative Manual C*
Summary

This booklet (with accompanying CD) contains guidance to police forces on dealing with gun violence, including situational firearms crime and preventative techniques including community involvement.
8.Kitchen S, Michaelson J, Wood N (2006), 2005 Citizenship Survey, Race and Faith Topic Report, Department for Communities and Local Government. C*, D*
This entry updates entry 30 on our response of December. The Citizenship Survey is a biennial survey, designed to contribute to the evidence base for the Home Office's and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) community policy area. The survey is currently in its third year. It was also run in 2001 and 2003. The survey is a major policy tool, informing both the development of policy and its implementation; and provides information for Home Office and the DCLG performance measurement.
Summary

The survey provides information around four modules, which include:
Neighbourhood: information on whether people know, socialise with and trust their neighbours; how people feel about their neighbourhood; collective efficacy and social capital. This feeds into the Home Office's Active Community Unit and Community Cohesion Unit. New questions in 2005 cover fear of crime, taken from the British Crime Survey (information on the BCS).

Active communities: information on civic participation, informal and formal volunteering, including frequency, intensity, duration and barriers. This is central to the work of the Active Community Unit and Public Service Agreement 8 (link to Treasury website). It also includes information on charitable giving.

Racial prejudice and discrimination: information on perceptions of racial prejudice in Britain and perceptions of discrimination by public and private sector organisations. This provides core information for the Race Equality Unit. New questions in 2005 cover religious prejudice and discrimination, which provides information for the Faith Communities Unit and OCJR.

Good citizen: information on perceptions of rights and responsibilities and whether people feel they can influence decisions and trust institutions. This feeds into the Home Office's Civil Renewal Unit.
9.Lewis C, Ellis T Root and Branch Review of Race and the CJS Statistics: Final Report. (2005) Institute of CJS Studies, University of Portsmouth D*
The University of Portsmouth was asked to conduct the Root and Branch Review in April 2004, with considerable emphasis on discovering user needs from as wide a group as possible. Interviews undertaken with various groups gave both a national perspective and a local one. User needs in five local areas were researched: South Wales, Devon & Cornwall, Leicestershire & Rutland, West Midlands and London.
Summary

The report makes a large number of recommendations for the development of the collection, analysis, use and publication of race and CJS statistics in England and Wales and sets these in the context of developments over the next few years. Alternatives for gradual implementation were suggested where implementation of certain recommendations would incur significant resource.
The report concludes that although a considerable amount of ethnicity data is available, user needs for BME data are not being consistently satisfied.
10.National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO)—Consultation with racial minority groups to identify work priorities for the CJS RU—unpublished A*, B*, C*
The aim of the project was to collect qualitative data via a national consultation exercise with Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community groups to help identify priority projects for the CJS Race Unit; through a set of consultation groups.
Summary

Recommendations made were divided into three strands and were as follows:
Communication and Consultation—cultural awareness training; better information available on the CJS; communication in different languages available; younger groups showed a slight resistance to consultation exercises and preferred the idea of "independent community representatives".

—Monitoring—more robust figures, particularly in stops and searches, and openness about the figures.

Recruitment of BME Practitioners—need for a "racially diverse front line agency"; better age and ethnicity diversity reflected in the magistracy.
11.Smith J (2003), The Nature of Personal Robbery Home Office Research Study 254. London: Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate A*, B*
This report examines the nature of robbery in England and Wales, based on an examination of over 2,000 crime reports and witness statements across seven police force areas. The report focuses specifically on personal robbery, which accounts for the bulk of recorded robbery and almost all of the increase in recent years.
Summary

The report suggests that visible ethnic minorities appear to be overrepresented as offenders in some Basic Command Units (BCUs) but not in others, but a range of contributory factors such as local population estimates and daily population movement, make this inconclusive.
These findings on ethnicity cannot be extrapolated to give any overall picture of the ethnicity of victims and suspects in robbery, however, they do emphasise the importance of local population differences in explaining the common characteristics of those identified in police crime reports. The report also makes clear the importance of considering wider socio-economic and demographic factors that will mediate the levels of risk between different ethnic groups.
12.Specification for Research—Invitation to Tender for A Study of Sentencing and its outcomes—unpublished A*, B*
An Invitation to Tender (ItT) document set out by the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate and the Sentencing Guidelines Council, to look at sentencing and its outcomes in depth. The ItT asks bidders to pay particular attention to analysis of post sentencing outcomes in terms of ethnicity and gender (though they may be limited on the basis of a smaller sample size).
Summary

The study has three principal aims, which are:
—To inform the development of sentencing guidelines for individual offence types, by increasing understanding of current sentencing practice and analysing factors significantly associated with sentencing, including offence and offender characteristics and geographical variations in outcomes.

—To provide baseline data on recent practice in sentencing and its outcomes so as to enable a later replication of the study (this will be the subject of a separate project) to assess the relative impact of the new Criminal Justice Act 2003 reforms to the sentencing framework.

—To examine the relative effectiveness (and cost-effectiveness) of different sentences by comparing actual sentence content with key outcomes (reconviction and compliance).
13.Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction (SPCR) Invitation to Tender—unpublished A*, B*
The Research Development and Statistics unit in NOMS have produced an Invitation to Tender document to commission research into prisoner experience.
Summary

SPCR aims to assess prisoners' problems and needs on reception, how these are addressed during and after custody and the combined effect of any interventions on offending and other outcomes. The study will examine how far prisoners receive any significant interventions during prison or on release, and what kinds of prisoners appear to benefit. The effects of prisoners' presenting characteristics, criminal history, motivation and attitudes will be taken into account.
The study will seek to answer the following key research questions:
—What are the characteristics and presenting problems of prisoners starting a new sentence?

—How do prisoners perceive their problems and needs?

—What interventions do prisoners receive during custody?

—What associations are there between interventions and outcomes?

—How important are prisoners' attitudes, perceptions and motivation?

—Is aftercare provided to/taken up by prisoners?

—Is provision of interventions and/or aftercare for prisoners cost effective?
14.University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Research Report: Issues surrounding the delivery of prison drug services in England and Wales, with a focus on black and minority ethnic prisoners'/Diversity Toolkit—unpublished C*
Summary

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) was commissioned in March 2003 to undertake research into Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) prisoners' access to drug services in custody; the research also looked at barriers preventing BME offenders engaging with these services; recommendations for improvements were included.
Although not yet finalised, the report's recommendations have already informed the development of a Diversity Toolkit for drug-misusers from diverse groups—including BME and young users. The Toolkit will include consideration of:
—access to services,

—types of treatment offered,

—balance of workforce,

—ethnic monitoring, and

—impact assessments etc.
15.Vennard J, University of Bristol; Davis G, University of Bristol; Baldwin J, University of Birmingham; Pearce J, University of Bristol (2004). Ethnic minority magistrates' experience of the role and of the court environment. DCA Research Series 3/04 *
This study was commissioned under Phase II of the DCA's Courts and Diversity Research Programme and offers a detailed exploration of the experience of magistrates from ethnic minority backgrounds. Taking a qualitative approach, the research seeks to explore:
—the prevalence of the racist experiences amongst ethnic minority magistrates and attempts by the magistracy to tackle any reported problems;

—the impact of perceived discrimination and racism upon magistrates' satisfaction with the role;

—and career progression on the bench of ethnic minority magistrates compared with that of their white colleagues.
Summary

This report summarises research on magistrates' experiences with some indication of BME experiences as providers of justice. Key research messages from the DCA's courts and Diversity Research Programme (which focused on BME experiences/perceptions of the Courts) suggest that people from BME communities are overall more likely than White people to believe that the courts discriminate based on ethnicity, but this report shows demonstrates that they personally experience very low levels of discrimination when they actually interact with courts and tribunals (either as users or representatives of the court system).
16.Yaser M, Davies K, Collins C What we learnt from engaging with Black and Minority Ethnic Communities. London. Home Office and Police Crime Standards Directorate. C*
This report sets out the lessons learnt from the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Community Engagement Programme (CEP). The aim of the report is to share with people working in DIP services and more widely the learning gained through the programme, enabling them to put the principles of community engagement effectively into practice, in order to benefit BME offenders, providers and local communities.
Summary

The research projects made a number of recommendations relating to local DIP services. Many of these are now being taken forward and implemented in partnership with local communities, building on the relationships formed during the CEP.
Many of the recommendations made by individual projects were specific to the needs of the local area and particular populations. However, there are a number of key general messages that can be identified from the recommendations as to how DIP services can better cater for the needs of people from Black and minority ethnic communities. These were as follows:
—DIP services should undertake work to improve local communities' awareness of and access to DIP services.

—Communities need to be consulted and involved in the commissioning, planning and delivery of DIP services

—DIP services need to strive to ensure that their workforce better reflects the make up of local communities, including ex-users with the appropriate competencies; and is provided with training on how to demonstrate sensitivity to the cultural and faith needs of people from Black and minority ethnic communities.
In prisons the capacity and ability of services such as CARAT teams to engage with Black and minority ethnic prisoners need to be increased, in order to focus on issues relating to throughcare and aftercare needs of those in DIP. Internal procedures also need to be examined to enable easier access into prisons by ex-offenders involved in treatment initiatives and self-help groups.
January 2007






 
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