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Is the UK Criminal Justice System Institutionally Racist?

The phrase “institutionalization of racism in the criminal justice system” describes the systemic nature of racism within the criminal justice system (Phillips & Bowling, 2020). Racism is institutionalized because of pervasive rules and behaviors that reinforce bias. Individuals of color in the United Kingdom and Wales are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. This is seen in the number of people of color who have been arrested, stopped, and searched, as well as those who have been prosecuted and jailed. Persons of color, particularly people of color from the Asian and African diasporas, make up a disproportionate share of those arrested and convicted of crimes. However, it is not primarily due to the criminal actions of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) people or the fact that BAME people are more inclined to offend when compared to white people. The pervasive stereotype exacerbates this issue that people of color, especially African-Americans and Latinos, are more likely to commit crimes than white people. Evidence that the criminal justice system is intrinsically racist may be seen in the disproportionate number of persons of BAME who are engaged in it, whether due to actual crime rates or the perception of being on the wrong side of the law(“The Oxford Handbook of Ethnographies of Crime and Criminal Justice,” 2020). Racist policies and practices have been ingrained inside institutional frameworks, making it difficult to eradicate institutional racism. Despite this, the primary contributor is neither the BAME’s criminal tendencies nor their propensity to transgress compared to whites. The widespread bias in the criminal justice system that people of color are disproportionately represented in prisons is a major contributing cause. Statistics on criminal crimes and other factors associated with a person’s perception of being on the wrong side of the law reveal that the criminal justice system is deeply biased against people of color. Records of arrests, stops and searches, sentencing, convictions, and incarceration are some parts of the criminal justice system that provide light on the systemic racism that permeates it. Minorities, especially blacks and other people of color, are more likely to be stopped and searched by police on the assumption that they are committing an offense. Racial bias in the criminal justice system is revealed when discrimination ends and searches focus on blacks and other minorities (Owusu-Bempah & Gabbidon, 2020). People who work in the criminal justice system have grown up in a culture that perpetuates negative assumptions about black people and other minorities. So, despite the criminal justice system’s best efforts to become more professional, it continues to target members of minority groups for disproportionate numbers of arrests and harsher sentencing. To varying degrees, this may include the knowledge or ignorance of law enforcement personnel. However, this complicates the mounting evidence that racism permeates every level of England and Wales’s criminal justice system. The second evidence demonstrating the racism of the English and Welsh criminal justice system is the disproportionately high rates of black and other minority group arrests relative to whites. In 2019, between 10 and 22 percent of all offenders were members of racial or ethnic minorities, according to statistics from the Ministry of Justice. According to the statistics, blacks make up four times the jail population compared to whites. This data provides more evidence that the disproportionate number of black people involved in the criminal justice system directly results from institutionalized racism throughout its procedures and arrests (Owusu-Bempah & Gabbidon, 2020). If a police officer stops a black person, they are more likely to search them than if they were white. Although reasonable suspicion may play a role in certain stops and searches, the criminal justice system has been influenced by racism; thus, some stops and searches of black people may be unjustified. The free movement of people inside the European Union is another factor that has led to a rise in the proportion of non-British whites moving to the United Kingdom (Souhami, 2020). These new citizens deserve the same respect, safety, and justice as the rest of the community. It has not worked out like that. In Britain, institutionalized racism against people of color, notably through the criminal justice system, has become progressively more severe. Criminal justice is a shield that keeps society secure by eliminating potential threats. Despite widespread approval of the system’s achievements, questions are raised if allegations of bias, corruption, or other forms of misconduct are made. Prison Is Where You Find the Poor Many people in our culture have a false idea about how the Criminal Justice system works. In his view, Criminal justice is a “carnival mirror” that reflects society’s preoccupation with one crime at the expense of addressing other, more pressing problems, including economic and environmental threats. The media’s fixation on criminal activity has sown discord among citizens rather than fostering the kind of cooperation needed to address the world’s most pressing issues. As a result of prejudices based on race, color, or ethnicity, certain institutions may not offer their clients the kind of care and attention they need. Many members of ethnic minorities feel unwelcome and victimized by mainstream society. Discrimination in the criminal justice system is the most often documented example of such institutional bias. The oppressor’s racial prejudice, ignorance, and bias lead to such a high rate of prejudice and put the oppressed at a severe disadvantage. The idea that the CJS is colorblind on a global scale is absurd. Cases of racism and cruelty against black people are often reported in the media across the world. Recent cases include a black American named Floyd, who died in police custody despite his pleas that he was having trouble breathing. This has prompted continuous demonstrations in the streets of the United States for the rights of minorities. Not just in the United States is this prevalent. Many reported incidents have occurred in Britain. In February 2020, for instance, the Kapessa family sued the South Wales police and the Crown Prosecution Service, claiming they were racist for failing to prosecute the suspect in Christopher’s murder (Souhami, 2020). They claim the police would have taken a different tack if the victim had been white. Another high-profile case is the 2010 death in custody of Jimmy Mubenga, who was deported from the United Kingdom by aircraft (Phillips & Bowling, 2020). Three former G4S guards (Detention and Custody Officers) were tried and acquitted of manslaughter. People on the aircraft saw him claim he could not breathe just before he passed away; thus, this was considered unjust. These incidents are quite rare. Some may say that the black population’s alleged overrepresentation is fiction and does not happen to the extent that it is being discussed. The data and evidence presented by many sources suggest that dirt is widespread across Britain. young people from ethnic minorities make up a disproportionate share of new criminals, repeat offenders, and those doing time in prison (Kindle, 2012). He also emphasized that, historically, black people have been arrested for drug misuse and other offenses at a rate that is ten times higher than white people. Under Section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, the Ministry of Justice collects and disseminates yearly estimates based on race and crime. This analysis found that young black individuals in England and Wales are nine times more likely to be incarcerated than young white people. Minority youth made up 67% of London’s juvenile arrests in the 2018-2019 school year, while adults made up 52%. Furthermore, the percentage of young people from underrepresented minorities who are incarcerated has risen from 25% in 2006 to 41% in 2017. Moreover, because of these selective stops and searches, the percentage of black persons arrested went from 13% to 22. The average term of incarceration for blacks was 28.0 months, much longer than 18.3 months for whites. Improving Outcomes for Young Black and/or Muslim Men in the Criminal Justice System is another study produced by the Young Review in 2014. A disproportionate number of negative judgments are passed on black people, they are the target of disproportionate police brutality, and they are routinely forced into segregation for longer periods than other groups. An important topic that arises in the wake of growing racism in the criminal justice system (CJS) is whether or not racial reasons account for the vast majority of arrests and convictions or whether or not other variables also play a role. Some have voiced concerns that people of color are overrepresented in the justice system. Stop, frisks, arrests, custodial punishment, and incarceration reveal systemic racism against black people. It has been shown that, in extreme cases, police go above and beyond the authority granted to them by the law. For instance, blacks have a disproportionately high rate of being stopped and searched compared to whites. Furthermore, black people are stereotyped as being more likely to engage in criminal behavior, including drug dealing and trafficking, gun and gang activity, violence, and theft. Furthermore, black defendants are claiming they are being denied the right to a speedy trial by pleading guilty too soon; the system does not provide them enough time to fight for themselves. They are treated differently than others because of a gene they were born with, which is obvious. police disproportionately target black persons in terms of patrols and algorithmic decisions (Phillips & Bowling, 2020). One possible explanation for this bias is the portrayal of black people in the media. Britain’s common media narrative is that criminality is rooted in the country’s cultural norms. Certain groups, such as blacks, are portrayed in the media as being disproportionately responsible for criminal acts. For instance, a Spectator reporter named Rod Diddle used the phrase “human filth” to describe two African-American suspects in a murder case. After blaming black people for the U.K.’sU.K.’s crime epidemic, he still would not apologize to them. The most well-known statement of the Black American movement was taken to the streets of London in 2013. One commenter on a Daily Mail piece titled “Hundreds of protestors wreak disruption for Christmas shoppers at London mall “die-in” after AMERICAN officer choke-hold death hundreds of miles away” said something along these lines (Kindle, 2012). The columnist could not understand why people would protest over anything that occurred so far away, but he acknowledged that this was a worldwide issue that needed to be resolved. Lucinda Platt’s concept of the “ethnic penalty” may also be used to explain why black people are overrepresented. She argues that minorities confront discrimination in every sphere of society, from the classroom, where black students are stereotyped as underachievers, to the workplace, where they are routinely offered low-paying positions, to the criminal justice system, where the odds are stacked against them. This is because most people in society overlook the role that these people play. They are treated differently than whites while being on the same socioeconomic level. Assumptions of criminality against black people in C.J.C.J. stem from the view that they have not accomplished enough. People do not appear to put any stock in them since they are poor, uneducated, and illiterate; thus, they must not deserve anything nice. Victims of racism and prejudice in these fields pay a high price for being members of a minority ethnic group. Racism and prejudice are pervasive in the criminal justice system, including the judicial system, and have spread to other parts, such as incarceration and rehabilitation (Johns et al., 2022). the elite in society plays a significant part in perpetuating falsehoods. As with the media, influential people impact how the general public thinks and feels about a topic. Others prefer to follow and trust if someone famous says or does anything. Taking a step back to examine the situation from a historical vantage point might help shed light on the current state of affairs. The history books will tell you that the British established colonies all over the globe. A system of slavery and exploitation was established on the colonial people. Several of these people were people of African descent. J. M. Moore, who documented the brutality and punishment meted out to colonized people by their oppressors, notes that racial categorization has been utilized to link race and criminality on several occasions. Enslaved people were subjected to such penalties to quell any potential uprisings. As the saying goes, “it is an empire returning home,” which is why this is occurring in the nation at this time (“Equality, inequalities and institutional racism,” 2022). There is a documented history of police violence as well. In matters of law and order, the government is represented by a dedicated force: the police. The government’s handling of the criminal justice system is reflected in how it deals with crime and its victims. The system is equitable if the authorities enforce the law fairly and equitably. The authorities must defend and safeguard the people as the populace authority and as guardians of racial equality (Joseph-Salisbury, 2018). Unfortunately, this has not exactly the case. The disproportionate use of force against black individuals, the discrimination of ethnicities in officer cease and search practices, and the resulting fatalities in police custody have become epidemic in recent years. As you can see, these are only a few examples of the police engaging in unethical behavior (Peguero & Hong, 2020). It is because of the Race Relations Acts that such savagery exists today. Throughout the colonialist era, the British government saw this as a method to cope with the country’s rapidly expanding black and different ethnic populations. These Acts established strict restrictions on entering the United Kingdom. Although these laws were intended to encourage integration and end racial discrimination, they led to a minimal influx of people of different races. However, before 2000, police powers were explicitly exempted from these laws, which caused much consternation. This approach allowed police to dominate the minority by engaging in stop-and-searches, deporting people who did not commit crimes, and making up charges against innocent people. Every action has repercussions, and the unfortunate reality is that the oppressor’s actions will have the most detrimental effect on the people they target with bigotry and prejudice. When someone is arrested and given a criminal record, they should not expect to be accepted back into society. For several reasons, this renders it difficult for individuals to rejoin regular society. For one, they have been given a criminal record that cannot be erased. Second, being an ex-convict makes it difficult to reintegrate into society and get work. This contributes to the problem of overall recidivism. Many of these ex-convicts may despair if they do not have a support system waiting for them, leading to a rise in suicide rates. Lastly, families who have lost loved ones due to police brutality must bear the agony of their loss.

Much has been stated, but what has been accomplished? Significant effort has been made to examine systemic racism and prejudice. The numbers indicate that this is a widespread societal issue. Testimonies from victims and family members about the terrible treatment they received proof that the issue is already there. Masses have taken to the streets in recent years to make their voices known, giving birth to several campaigners, such as Lord Macpherson and Lammy, amongst others (Peguero & Hong, 2020). Nothing has changed to earn back the black community’s faith in the judicial system. Creating committees to look into the issue and provide suggestions is just the beginning of a solution. In February of this year, the Ministry of Justice provided an update on the government’s efforts to address the inequity in the system. The study by Lammy served as the basis for their reaction and actions to address the problems it highlighted. When 49 percent of juvenile arrests in a given year were of black youngsters, it was clear that there was a problem with racial disparity in the juvenile justice system that needed to be addressed. The government also insists it has taken the necessary steps to ensure that CPS can make charge judgments uniformly in an evidence-based manner free of bias (Harris, 2022). Among other approaches, we considered increasing communication and hiring a more ethnically and racially diverse staff. The question then becomes how the criminal justice system might be rethought to reduce the collateral damage it inevitably causes. To heal the wounds that are already visible, words alone are insufficient. Among the suggestions is a call for more accountability on the part of the police and the judicial system regarding how they respond to criminal activity. It is upsetting that G4S security employees implicated in the murder of Jimmy Mubenga were declared not guilty despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Officers are subject to the same rules as the rest of us. David Lammy has said that we must stop unfairly prosecuting black individuals to reduce racism. Many cases being processed in the system lack baseness, but while the plaintiff is black, the process continues. For example, the arrest and subsequent prosecution of “refusing to assist with police” against a black individual who legitimately declined to be searched by police are widely considered unfair and unwarranted. It is also important to review some of the judges’ earlier unjust decisions to guarantee that everybody is treated fairly (Harris, 2022). Some Acts of the law, such as the Policing and Crime Act of 2017, which requires defendants to reveal their nationality at the outset of proceedings, should also be repealed. That is why we see racism in the legal system when actions like this are committed (Holroyd, 2015). Finally, the penal justice system has to work with the black community, rather than towards them, if it wants to win back the confidence of people of color who believe they have suffered discrimination unfairly long enough. This may be achieved by ensuring that underrepresented groups are represented in the system’s employment and by including those groups in policymaking. Finally, this does not rule out the possibility that some black Britons may engage in criminal activity. Employees in the U.K.U.K. Criminal Justice system should aim toward a system where no one thinks they have been mistreated because of their race or ethnicity, ensuring that racism does not exist at the institutional level.


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