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Is the United Kingdom Criminal Justice System Institutionally Racist?


According to a broad variety of macro-level statistics, the criminal justice system in England and Wales is riddled with racial inequity. One of the most striking findings of this research is a deeper look at the lived experiences of the individuals that make up the data. This study explores the viewpoints of people who have served jail terms in the United Kingdom, including the police, courts, and prison, using primary and secondary research on people who have served jail terms in the United Kingdom. UK’s independent parliamentary watchdog launched an inquiry into how minorities are treated in the criminal justice system and the results of their cases after the collection of data by the charity. It was participants’ most pressing concern about institutionalised racism, which included racial profiling and “privilege levels” for convicts that were based on race and ethnicity. Racial bias has been blamed for the disparity in the number of black British citizens imprisoned. Race relations in the UK are exacerbated by the country’s criminal justice system. They are seen as criminals and targets because of their skin colour in the United Kingdom. Everything from the UK government’s war on drugs to corrupt police practises will be examined to illustrate that African Americans are unjustly targeted in the United Kingdom. (Booth et al., 2011).


This research will look at the experiences and viewpoints of male convicts on racism and racial discrimination and provide insight on the macro-level facts that portray such a grim image of African-American disproportionality in the criminal justice system. Thus, it will provide findings from a 2013 qualitative study involving four focus groups of convicts from a UK prison. This study’s statistics show the depth of systemic racism, but there are other additional factors to take into account (Phillips et al.,2017). More than just a few examples can be found of how African Americans are exposed to different forms of discrimination in the workplace, health care and housing. Negative outcomes in these areas enhance African people’s vulnerability to being singled out by social control agents like the police and prosecuted.

Several macro-level data show that BAME people of all ages and genders are overrepresented in the criminal justice system in England and Wales, where they suffer a broad range of severe punishments and repercussions. As of March 2018, just 3.7 percent of the total population of England and Wales was made up of Black or Black British men and women, compared to 12 percent of the prison population. Only 10,557 of the 82397 jailed prisoners are in federal prisons. Statistically speaking, both of these individuals are over-represented in statistics on probationees. In 2017, just a tiny minority of those sentenced to community service and probation were black or British nationals. It’s more common in this area for young people to be racist than it is elsewhere. The number of black teenagers in the criminal justice system has climbed despite a dramatic drop in the number of young people in prison. Adolescents of colour (African-Americans and Latinos) had a much higher incidence of juvenile incarceration in 2015/16 than whites. Governmental Report 2017a). Processes such as “stop and frisk” have been used in the past with comparable results. Metropolitan Police figures show that black persons in London are four times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people (Metropolitan police, 2022).

This dissertation explores the experiences and opinions of male prisoners on racism and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, one of many macro-level data that create such a bleak image of racial disparity. In order to fully comprehend the extent of racial disparity in this system, a wide variety of other areas must be examined. Racism affects a broad variety of aspects of BAME people’s lives, from education and employment to health care and housing (Bagley & Abu Baker, 2017). BAME persons are more likely to be targeted by social control agents like the police and end up in the criminal justice system as a consequence of these negative outcomes.BAME persons have been subjected to racial discrimination in a variety of contexts, and the effects of severe kinds of racism have left an indelible imprint on their life, according to increasing evidence (De Lissovoy, 2012).

Literature review

According to those who have been asked directly about prejudice, they believe that racial and religious discrimination has worsened throughout time. Racism in Britain was worse in 2001 than it had been five years before, according to two out of every five people in England and Wales. In 2005, almost half of Americans said that racial discrimination was worse than it was five years earlier, and that number rose to more than half in 2008 (56 percent). 5 Despite the fact that there has been a huge increase in the amount of cross-group interaction, this is still the case. Muslim people are often the target of anti-Muslim sentiment. Only 14 percent of respondents said they were concerned about the construction a large church in their community, according to the results of a 2010 British social attitudes survey. (People stated that the construction of an enormous mosque in their community would cause them concern, while only 53 percent stated that they would be concerned about the construction of a large church.)) Those seeking asylum or who have just arrived in the nation face hostility from the general population, according to studies. Unauthorised or undocumented immigrants are particularly disliked. With one research showing a rise from 61% in 1997 to 70% in 2009 in respondents who strongly agreed or were inclined to agree that the United Kingdom had “too many immigrants,” the degree of unfavourable views is expanding generally. Media misreporting of Gypsies and Travellers exacerbates public mistrust and misperceptions about these groups.

The criminal justice system has gotten the most attention due to George Floyd’s death (Reference and a brief explanation). According to the Lammy Review (Reference) and other studies, institutional racism (perhaps mention the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report (1999) by Sir William Macpherson of Cluny as this defined what we now refer to as Institutional Racism) is a significant problem in the business. According to the Lammy Review, African-American defendants had a 240 per cent increased chance of being sentenced to prison for drug charges. Black people make up barely 3 per cent of the overall population, yet they account for 11 per cent of the prison population in England and Wales. For this reason, the United Kingdom has a higher proportion of Black prisoners than the United States. For the United Kingdom, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), police, and prison system are all involved in the administration of justice. Almost every government agency’s budget in the UK has reduced from 9.1 billion British pounds in 2009/10 to 7.35 billion British pounds in 2015/16. There has been a steady increase in the Ministry of Justice’s budget since 2015/16, reaching 9.15 billion British pounds in 2020/21. Additionally, the reductions in police personnel had a substantial effect on the criminal justice system, which included a reduction in money for criminal legal assistance.

A system under pressure

Crime in the United Kingdom rose in the early 21st century as British government budgets decreased across the board, adding to the already heavy weight of the criminal justice system. The number of sexual offences in the United Kingdom has climbed by more than 110 percent between 2012/13 (Criminal justice system in the United Kingdom | Statista, 2022). Because of previous accusations and a cultural change in the way sexual assaults are handled in the legal system, there has been a considerable surge in the number of sexual offences exposed in the media. These offences are among the most serious in the country, and the average sentence is among the most severe. Due to these changes, the Crown Court in England and Wales had a backlog of over 50,000 cases by the end of 2014. Due to restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, this number was reduced to 32400 by the third quarter of 2019 (Criminal justice system in the UK | Statista, 2022). This number, however, is expected to rise considerably by the year 2020. Trials are also taking longer to complete, lasting an average of 698 days in 2021 compared to 387 days in 2009.

Court structure and workforce

In order to maintain a secure and orderly society, it is vital to have a well-functioning legal system. A loss of trust in the system might lead to a decline in the number of crimes recorded or help given to law enforcement and courts, as well as a stifling effect on the peaceful settlement of conflicts. Some people hold the view that the criminal justice system is unfair and unreasonable, and they are not alone. In this chapter, we’ll look at data that suggests some of these difficulties are, in fact, true. As a society, we may see a ripple effect from disparities in access to fair trials and equal legal protections. Having a social life outside of court is inextricably linked to your appearance there. As a result, judges must maintain and grow public trust in the legal system by acting impartially in their roles. There are many ways in which our acts might impact public perceptions of the legal system, and we must be aware of this. The fairness and openness of the courtroom procedures may be improved when judges are familiar with what is going on outside of it. Some minorities endure disadvantages both within and outside the legal system, thus we’ve prepared the following facts as an introduction. When it comes to disadvantage, people from the same ethnic group will not experience it in the same manner. Ethnic groups should not be stereotyped based on their perceived characteristics. Just though the majority of its members share certain characteristics, experiences, or beliefs, does not mean that all ethnic groups do.

When it comes to criminal proceedings in England and Wales, most will be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Courts, where there were more than 286,241 new cases in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the Crown Court’s 23,621 (Criminal justice system in the U.K. | Statista, 2022). Except for the justice of the Peace court, which deals with minor infractions, Scotland has a comparable organization to that of the United States. In 2020, an anticipated 35,200 barristers and judges would work in these numerous court systems, compared to 18,800 in 2011 (Criminal justice system in the U.K. | Statista, 2022). In England and Wales, 91.5 per cent of court judges will be the white ethnic group in 2021. While looking at judges’ backgrounds, it is evident that more has to be done to improve diversity (Williams & Clarke, 2016).

According to Holroyd (2015), it has been estimated that more than half of those convicted under the notion of joint effort, which stretches back to hundreds of years and asserts that a person may be held accountable even though they had no role in the crime, are people of colour. It is conceivable to convict a burglary’s getaway driver of joint activity. However, the same notion has also been controversially used to condemn murders. Under unique proof requirements, in some instances, a person may be convicted of murder even though they did nothing to cause the victim’s death. It’s disturbing that people of colour are more likely to be convicted of crimes like this (Joseph,2020). Leaders from the political spectrum should have been motivated to take action since African communities have suffered from disproportionate police and punishment for far too long. The evidence should be acted upon without delay. If a system that is essentially racist is upheld, people of colour may learn to feel that justice is only available to the majority of the population.

The Lammy Review conducted the most current and thorough review of disparities across ethnic groups in 2017. This research looked at arrest, conviction, and incarceration. The issue of re-offending was also studied. Using the most up-to-date data available will help ensure the accuracy of the Lammy Review’s findings. Compare the proportion of the general population with the claim at various levels of justice to see how many individuals identify as African–American groups. People of colour make up more than a third of inmates in English and Welsh jails, according to the 2019 Annual Population Survey (Lammy,2017). A total of 23% of those arrested, 21% of those found guilty, and 27% of those sentenced were black.

According to Turner et al., 2016, a warrantless search of an individual was permitted only when the authorities had reasonable suspicion that the subject was involved in illegal activity; this is no longer the case. A police officer “is entitled to the safety of himself and others in the vicinity” to undertake a restricted search “to uncover weapons that may be used against him” (Reference). If and when they see unusual behaviour by someone, they reasonably suspect them to be dangerous and involved in criminal activity. A police officer may stop and interrogate a suspect even if they lack “probable cause,” as long as they have “reasonable articulable suspicion” that they are engaging in criminal activity or otherwise posing a threat.

The problem is magnified when a group’s members are more prevalent in the criminal justice system than in the overall population. These inequities may be caused by several circumstances, including differing crime rates, police priorities, legislative policies, or judgments by criminal justice practitioners who have substantial authority in the legal system (Spalek, 2013). When persons of comparable origins are mistreated, it breeds racism in the criminal justice system. Direct (happens when a member of a protected class is mistreated by another member of that group. A variety of factors may be at play here, including the employee’s gender or colour or age) or indirect racial prejudice (This occurs when a policy disadvantages a group of individuals because they share a protected attribute, and you suffer as a result of this disadvantage), for example, might account for this. Unguarded activity may also lead to inequities between individuals and institutions (Cook & Hudson, 1983).

Olivet et al., 2021, the criminal justice system must adapt to new laws and practices for racial gaps to expand over time. Stakeholders should be a part of the decision-making process. The fight against procedural and substantive unfairness must thus be waged at every step of the criminal justice system. Gains in one area may be countered by losses elsewhere if a careful strategy is not followed. One needs to recognize that what works at one decision point may not work at the next if you want to be an educated customer. Each decision point and system component must be treated differently based on the degree of inequality and the specific populations impacted by its operations (Lammy,2017). In your efforts, you should strive for a systemic change. To accomplish systemic change, criminal justice officials must be aware and dedicated to addressing the racial imbalances in our criminal justice system individually and institutionally.

The Impact of Racial Disparities

According to local and national data, every decision point in the criminal justice system is affected by racial inequities (Donnelly, 2017). It’s impossible to avoid the cascading effects of a single choice. People of colour will be punished at trial and punishment since their detention rates are more significant than whites in similar circumstances because of bail regulations, limiting their access to defence counsel, community resources, and treatment choices. Here are a few examples of systemic inequality:

“Driving while black” (Reference) is an excellent illustration of police discretion in action. A two-year investigation of 13,566 traffic encounters in a Midwestern city revealed that blacks were stopped and searched for contraband more frequently than their white counterparts (Mitsilegas, 2017). There was no statistically significant difference in the number of prohibited goods seized from minorities compared to whites. According to the Lammy review (2017), individuals of colour are more likely than whites to be imprisoned for criminal charges. It is estimated that 10% of those arrested in Bradford and around 33% of those arrested throughout the state would have been freed without being charged had the arrest rates for minorities been equal to those for whites (Roberts & Stalans, 2018). It is possible that judgments made at various phases of the criminal justice process led to racial injustice. This paper offers measures that criminal justice practitioners might use to avoid such consequences. When making decisions, people of colour must be given the same consideration (Lammy, 2017). However, since the criminal justice system is part of a much larger social and political framework, it is necessary to consider how people of colour are treated when they enter it. The disparity can be tackled by criminal justice professionals through various means, including citizens, professionals within the system and decision-makers who have the discretion to mitigate the effects of racial disparity, whether it stems from a larger social or political context or previous decisions made within the system (Lammy, 2017). Criminal justice professionals need to be aware of the larger social context when devising strategies to reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Racial disparities in the criminal justice system have many antecedents and consequences (Lammy,2017). The following factors have been often cited in the broader social context as contributing to racial inequality: To begin, crime is more prevalent, resources are unequally distributed, political alternatives are limited, and overt racial bias is evident.

Higher Crime Rates

Despite the fact that many crimes go undetected, a disproportionately high percentage of black persons in the United Kingdom are arrested, according to (Arrests, 2022). Because it is based on actual arrests, the United Kingdom Crime Report is the most credible source of information about crime. According to these numbers, only individuals who have been arrested and prosecuted are included in the total. In light of the foregoing arrest numbers, it seems that Black British people are more likely to be imprisoned for a variety of offences. When it comes to violent crimes and property offences, the percentage of people of colour in prison in the United Kingdom is 39 percent and 31 percent, respectively (Sheahan, 2014). Victim surveys, in which persons who have been hurt identify the culprits, might provide further information. These polls’ conclusions are supported by arrest statistics that take race into account. The environment in which arrests are made is critical when studying arrest statistics.

An officer’s arrest rate is a good indicator of how effectively he or she is clearing reported offences and crimes they encounter. This includes the number of arrests, the number of crimes recorded, and the number of police determinations about which offences to focus on, as well as the total number of apprehensions. Despite these shortcomings, arrest rates are often used as a reliable predictor of criminal activity. Involvement and treatment in the criminal justice system is influenced by racial and socioeconomic factors. People from low-income backgrounds make up a disproportionate number of those who end up in jail or prison. There is a higher percentage of people of colour living in poverty than the general population. There is no evidence to support the claim that minorities are overrepresented in the criminal justice system simply because they commit more crimes (Tilley, 2000). Researchers from 32 different states found that people of colour, particularly African Americans and Latinos, are more likely than whites to be arrested and sentenced to jail time.

There is a link between the disproportionately high number of African Americans incarcerated and drug charges, which is partly true. Due to the huge percentage of African Americans who admit taking drugs, drug arrestees may encounter racial discrimination. In 2006, 14% of Americans and 14% of African-Americans admitted to abusing opioids. Of those accused with drug offences in 2006, 35 percent of them were African Americans, whereas 15 percent of those convicted of drug offences were African Americans (Philips et al., 2017). Research shows that disparities in law enforcement strategies, crime rates, and harsh sentencing regimes may all contribute to inequities in criminal justice involvement, as evidenced by the fact that 15% of those jailed for drug offences were African Americans (the most recent year for which prison data are available). Those with a history of more serious offences are more likely to get prison time.

Because arrest rates vary by region, those with the most excellent incarceration rates also have the highest public reporting of crime and the largest concentrations of police officers. In a study of juvenile offenders’ arrest, detention, and incarceration rates, racial minorities were more likely than whites to be arrested, detained, formally accused, sent to criminal court, and imprisoned. Being in trouble with the law earlier in life raises one’s vulnerability to more severe punishments in the future. In an independent study, three-city offenders were analyzed, and the delicate interaction between factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and age was shown. The research found that two of three areas showed significant racial disparities in jail populations. Racial disparities in the criminal justice system and prison populations may not accurately reflect the disproportionately high crime rates among minorities. Suppose law enforcement resources are concentrated in low-income neighbourhoods. In that case, public safety methods depend on arrest and prosecution, and economic, educational, and social service resources are insufficient, racial inequities in criminal justice outcomes are inevitable.

Inequitable Access to Resources

In many cases, the perpetrators do not want the authorities to know their actions. As a result, judging someone’s race only based on their behaviour is complex. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR), based on arrests, provides the most reliable statistics. Figures include just those people who were arrested. According to the arrest statistics, African Americans are more likely to be arrested for specific offences than the general population. African Americans make up 39 per cent of those arrested for violent crimes and 31 per cent for property offences. However, (the UCR does not keep track of how many Latinos are imprisoned or charged) (the UCR does not keep track of how many Latinos are detained or prosecuted). Victim surveys, which ask victims to identify their criminals, are a third method of gathering information. In many situations, arrest records for crimes are congruent with these surveys in terms of race. Consider the context of the arrests you’re looking at while looking at arrest data.

The arrest rate of a police officer may be used to gauge the effectiveness of the department’s response to both reported and unreported offences. How often crimes occur and how much time officers spend detaining suspects are significant factors in the number of people arrested. Arrest rates, despite their shortcomings, are still commonly believed to be a measure of crime. Racial and socioeconomic factors influence the criminal justice system’s participation and treatment (Denney et al., 2006). Low-income persons make up a large percentage of the population in the criminal justice system. People of colour are more likely than the general population to be poor. Researchers have shown that the overrepresentation of minorities in the criminal justice system is not due to a higher incidence of crime. According to a recent study by (Skinner, 2020) of 32 state-level studies, African Americans and Latinos are more likely to be arrested and get longer sentences than whites.

Since African Americans make up most drug arrestees, this link remains true. African-Americans are more likely to admit to using drugs than whites, which shows that those arrested for drug offences are treated differently based on their race. 2006 saw a 14 per cent increase in the number of African-Americans who admitted to taking drugs compared to the entire population (14 per cent of all drug users). Moreover, a third (35%) of people arrested for drug crimes were African-Americans (the most recent year of prison data available). Racial disparities in the criminal justice system may be linked to several factors, including police procedures and crime statistics. A person’s chances of going to prison for a new crime increase with a criminal record, which is bad news for individuals who have previously done time.

The presence of law enforcement agents is linked to public reporting of criminal behaviour. According to research on adolescent offenders, minorities had more excellent arrest rates, detention, formal charges, criminal court appearances, and incarceration than whites. One’s chances of facing more harsh punishments later in life grow if they get into legal trouble early in their lives. According to three separate studies, the characteristics of offenders differ greatly based on their ethnicity (race), gender (age), and ethnicity (age). Race disparities in the number of persons held in custody were analyzed at two sites. Minority crime rates may not be directly connected with racially diverse jail populations or the criminal justice system. Public safety processes that rely on arrest and prosecution will lead to racial inequalities if concentrated in low-income regions with less educational and social resources.

Overt Racial Bias

Racism will be evident in the criminal justice system as long as it exists in society. The language, attitudes, behaviour, assumptions, procedures, and institutional regulations that deal with racism reveal overt bias in the criminal justice system. Those in the criminal justice system may make erroneous decisions if they are prejudiced. A few decades ago, it was deemed illegal to employ blatantly racist words and attitudes within many facets of our society. Even if steps are taken to reduce or eliminate racism, it might still exist in the shadows. Racism must be addressed in all of its manifestations.

Bias may show itself in a variety of ways in the legal system. Poor ties with the community, for example, may point to a lack of regard for the police force. As a result of how they are spoken to in court, minority defendants and their attorneys may be treated as second-class citizens. Having negative interactions with convicts’ relatives may exacerbate tensions among inmates, families, and prison staff. It’s common for criminal justice professionals to identify with persons who look and act like themselves. Judges and prosecutors may be more receptive to different options for those who have a personal relationship with the perpetrator. This is most likely the case for all ethnic and racial groups. As a result of these dynamics, ensuring that all people’s legitimate requests be addressed requires a diverse and representative judicial system. Criminal justice policies and practices, rather than overt racism, are increasingly being seen as the primary cause of disparities in racial outcomes. There are still racial prejudices, despite recent evidence to the contrary. When the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the death sentence in a Texas case, the death penalty was abolished. As a result of their race, the state contended that the offender’s death sentence was deserved rather than life in prison. According to research conducted by the Attorney General’s office, eight more cases of people of colour receiving the death penalty have surfaced. Due to their obligation to preserve justice, criminal justice professionals must be careful not to harbour racist attitudes. They are often entrusted with imposing their will on the general populace. As a result, training in human relations, orientation to the cultures and subcultures of the people with whom criminal justice agents work daily, and supervision tailored to identify and correct prejudice in the attitudes, speech, and conduct of subordinate staff should be given not be loosened any further.


Research design

At the beginning of New Labour’s first term in 1997, racial equality in the criminal justice system became a significant objective. Stephen Lawrence’s murder by the Metropolitan Police was investigated immediately after New Labour came to office. In 1999, Macpherson’s report was broadly accepted by the federal government (Rowe, 2013). He (Rowe, 2013). The government had to agree with the inquiry committee’s findings that “institutional racism” was a major factor in the failure of an investigation against a police officer (disfavouring or marginalising a member of a minority or marginalised ethnic group because of standardised processes, structures, or expectations that have been formed inside the organisation or institution.) It is (Sian, 2019) Having worked in the criminal justice field for much of my career, I was delighted to see the government’s commitment to addressing the issue of systematic racism in the courts. These reforms have been implemented and presided over during the first decade of this government’s tenure, including an official priority for police reform to “increase trust and confidence in policing amongst minority ethnic communities,” enhanced operational policing and prosecution of racist incidents, training to raise racism awareness and local and national recruitment targets. and advertising. With these accomplishments, the criminal justice systems in England and Wales need to reexamine their treatment of ethnic minorities in the country.

The research conducted for this paper aims to show how racist the British legal system is on a structural level. In my research, I want to examine how white people’s views are influenced by those of minorities. Consequently, we plan to host two online groups for African-Americans and two for white participants (11 persons each) because of this (11 participants). Others who have been branded “gang-involved” by researchers have distinct life experiences and views compared to people who have not been engaged in gangs (Phillips, 2014). It is necessary to maintain two separate internet groups for people who were not able to access the “gang nominals” from the jail. Participants are expected to be between the ages of 20 and 40. It’s common for a contract to last five years, but in exceptional cases it might go up to fourteen years. Whether it was for drug possession or assault and molestation, they’ve all had their day in court.

Online groups, we believe, provide a more fruitful environment for the exchange of ideas than do one-on-one interviews. Some researchers believe that in the early phases of large-scale challenges that have not yet been explored, group dynamics may play an important role in the discovery process (Skinner, 2020). More prisoners volunteer and participate better in group discussions than one-on-one interviews (Hall, 2011). An in-depth evaluation of an individual’s life experiences and perspectives is more likely to be part of the latter. Interviewing the author in an online group was an excellent choice due to the high degree of engagement and interest in all of the topics mentioned by the author. However, despite the fact that we may not always follow them. We’d love to hear what you have to say! As a consequence, it is up to the participants to choose the speed of the discussion. In this way, instead of spending time and energy on subjects that we didn’t find to be as important in our initial literature study and discussion preparation, participants may instead focus on the things that matter most. It’s likely that less information will be gathered on certain topics (including law enforcement, legal assistance, and prisons) as a result of the increasing emphasis on others (like the Internet) (such as bail and remand judgements and community penalties).

The audio and video recordings of the online groups will be transcribed. For each transcript, there will be seven different sorts of data: information on law enforcement, legal assistance, bail, remand, sentence, prisons, and other forms of community punishment. The data will be coded and styled. There is some disagreement about what constitutes “gang nominals” and “non-gang nominals. It is understood that in this study, “people of colour origin participant(s)” refers to white individuals. Those who take part in the study will be provided with written and spoken explanations of the data they provided. Unless all participants express their consent, no one will be able to participate in the study.


The PRISMA guidelines (Moher et al., 2009) guided this systematic Review’s approach, and on February 10th, 2022, the institutional ethics committee approved the systematic Review as ethically sound. Six databases were first searched on February 12th, 2022, including World Cat, ScienceDirect, PubMed, Psych Articles, and Semantic Scholar. Still, searches were also done on Google Scholar and the Discover feature on the university homepage as well as the metropolitan police websites and ministry of justice website. Criminal justice, racial bias, and racism as well as justice of BAME individuals were the terms be employed. (Racism OR racial bias OR criminal justice system OR justice for BAME individuals in UK were the final sentences (Racial bias in the criminal justice system in UK). By dissecting the study topic, we could come up with more focused search phrases. Studies were selected by skimming the titles, abstracts, and complete texts of potential candidates.

There weren’t many constraints on who may participate, including no limits on age, gender, where the work was published, or how well the participants performed. On the other hand, those studies have to be tailored to fit the needs of actual competing athletes. The general public was excluded from studies because some have never come into conflict with the british Law. After a preliminary review of titles and abstracts, we were left with 25 papers that met our eligibility criteria. After an evaluation, these 25 studies were cut to 15.

The mixed-methods assessment tool was used to determine the overall quality of the literature, and each item of literature was given a percentage-based score based on the specified criteria. Using the MMAT, we were able to describe the overall quality of the study and analyze any possible bias that may exist. As the first stage in data synthesis, each study’s goals, results, and conclusions should be thoroughly reviewed and understood. The results, methodology, demographics, and the purpose of each research were summarised in a table. The review author selected the search approach, eligibility criteria, and studies utilized since it was an independent initiative.


Concerns about personal harm and remuneration for permission are the most common objections to using secondary data. A wide range of persons may be identified using secondary database information. No ethics board is necessary to review data that does not include any personally identifiable information to prevent illicit access. The only thing that is required is a brief statement. Any information that may be used to link a participant to a specific person is scrutinized closely by the board of administrators. Researchers need to explain why they need to gather personal information and aim to keep it secure as part of the study process. Researchers may be granted a waiver of permission if they are satisfied with the answers to their questions. The results of this study may be used in future research since they are publicly available online, in books, and other public places. This investigation led to the identification of the original data’s rightful owner. Because no official approval from the research team had been provided, the use of data in this dissertation could not be ethically cleared. After a thorough review of the additional evidence, several new issues are raised. It’s critical to gather valuable but manageable data in terms of size. This research depended on secondary data analysis since no original data were acquired. An inquiry has been begun to investigate the techniques utilized to acquire the data, and the accuracy and timeliness with it were analyzed. So long as it’s required, you can be confident that we’ll just store your personal information. Any data’s integrity can never be compromised, not even to the slightest degree. The ideal place to keep encrypted data is on a computer in a secured cabinet. After verifying the data used in this test, more study was carried out. If the initial authorization form stated that secondary research was permitted, its ethics review committee might need to approve it.


Across all four focus groups, issues about institutionalized forms of racism, racial discrimination, and racism were highlighted at the daily decision-making level. For the sake of this study, I’ve separated the results into two sections: institutional racism and racism and racial discrimination at the micro-level of decision-making. When it comes to prioritizing, the document considers what was most important to the participants throughout the group conversations.

Institutional racism

Many criminal justice system components are racially biased to a previous study (Deuchar & Bhopal 2017). All four focus groups discussed instances of institutional racism, which adds weight to the findings of these investigations. It was clear that participants were eager to talk about their experiences and thoughts on police, while no area of criminal justice was immune to criticism.

Stop and search

Racism in the form of police stop and search was highlighted as an example by participants. In the UK, this practise has a long and tumultuous history. “Stop and search” techniques used by the police during the Brixton riots in 1980 were held up as evidence by Lord Scarman (1981). Traffic stops and searches have seen several alterations throughout the years. The police-community relationship has worsened as a consequence of these measures, and this has been related to the recent 2011 public order events. (Ariza, Ariz, 2014). Black or white, all of the participants were in agreement that being stopped and searched is closely related to one’s skin colour. On the issue of the BAME community’s overuse of resources by police, an open conversation was held. Racial inequalities in criminal justice are mostly caused by police stop and search instances in which young Black males are suspected of possessing drugs or weapons, according to several participants in the discussion According to the latest stop and search statistics from 2017, there is a four-fold gap in the rate of stop and search for drug offences between black and white persons. Detention and search for suspected weapon possession is more prevalent in African-Americans than in European-Americans of European ancestry. Concerns about police targeting of ‘gang members’ during suspected stop-and-search operations played a role.

Gang Matrices and Joint Enterprise

Some of the most well-known British cities have gang-matrix systems in place, such as Manchester and Liverpool. These persons are known as “gang nominals,” and their ranks are determined by the amount of danger or risk they pose to others. The issue of policing gangs has been a contentious one for both white and black participants in the debate against institutionalised racism. Although just 13 percent of London’s population is black, the Trident Gang Matrix had 78 percent of its nominal gang members who were black in 2016, according to a Freedom of Information Request (Metropolitan Police, 2016). More worrisome is that the police’s employment of unclear criteria and tactics to identify people as “gang nominals” is more more disturbing.

The classifications of people as “gang nominals” are made using information gleaned from various sources, including a stop of search activity and content posted on social media, even though law enforcement agencies are reluctant to divulge information about the processes and mechanisms that lead to these classifications (Metropolitan Police, 2016). Participant concerns regarding the reliability of information from diverse sources were noted in the study (Ariza, 2014). Criminal prosecution and punishment are more likely for those labelled “gang nominals” because of the increased police scrutiny they face. To find out how many gang nomenclatures have been related to various types of reported crime, researchers from Deutchal and Bhopal, 2017 made a Freedom of Information request in June 2017. Fewer than 2% of all London knife crimes between January and June 2017 were linked to gangs, according to MET figures (Metropolitan Police, 2017a). The proportion of non-violent crimes that were gang-related in London in 2017 was even lower than the 1% of violent crimes that were gang-related. In Manchester and London, where there has been substantial adolescent violence, a previous research indicated that the vast majority of occurrences were not the work of gangs, and the new data confirms this.

No matter how unrelated criminal behaviour may be, persons on police gang matrix lists who are suspected of being involved in it are closely monitored and often targeted for arrest (Williams & Clarke, 2016). So, it was not surprising that people who were referred to as “gang nominals” had an unfavourable opinion of the police. Young black men will be disproportionately affected by this tactic since 87 percent of those accused of being members of gangs are BAME people. White and BAME gang members will face greater surveillance and harassment at the same time, regardless of their race (Metropolitan Police, 2016).

Lammy Review has been commended for its capacity to shine a focus on the racial disparities in the criminal justice system, but critics have also pointed out certain major shortcomings (Fekete, 2018). Due to the prevalence of stop and search procedures and police gang matrices, the Review’s omission of policing from its scope was a matter of special concern (Bridges, 2018). Objections have also been voiced concerning the Review’s reluctance to recognise and examine problems as indications of systemic racism. As opposed to looking at the large picture, the Review focused on the relationships between different forms of racism at various stages in the criminal justice system. Many forms of institutional racism, including those that are likely to worsen the challenges BAME people face, are a particular concern (Bridges, 2018). Cops have opted to concentrate their efforts on stopping and searching Black individuals, especially young men of African-American descent, despite the fact that only a small fraction of criminal activity is gang-related, according to government figures. While the vast majority of crimes are not committed by gangs (Metropolitan Police, 2017a).

There are many young Black people who feel branded, degraded and mistreated by an institution whose declared aim is “earning the trust and confidence of every community” because of these police techniques. Sentencing disparities based on race aggravate these negative effects, making it more likely that minorities will be entangled in the criminal justice system. For example, BAME people are 240% more likely than white people to get a prison term for drug offences (Lammy, 2017).

For a variety of reasons, gang members are more likely to face harsher penalties than non-gang members. “Step one aggravating factor” in certain sentencing guidelines could include holding a “leadership role” in a criminal organisation or gang, for example (Wales, 2011). As a consequence, a number of cases have arisen in which alleged gang membership has been utilised as a basis for joint enterprise accusations, which has resulted in excessively harsh sentences for what are often little or dubious involvement in the claims of crimes (Williams and Clarke, 2016). According to Williams and Clarke, who conducted a 2016 study, respondents were unanimous in their criticism of the joint venture philosophy. The law’s contradictions, however, caused many BAME persons to lament the damage they had already done and continue to inflict to their lives. It has been argued by Bridges (2018: 83) that the Lammy Review has failed to call for significant reforms of the principle of joint enterprise and restitution for those who have been unfairly convicted in the past.

Legal Aid

At the institutional level, BAME persons have a special interest in the legal aid system’s ability to be both fair and effective. The majority of interviewees expressed a lack of trust and confidence in legal assistance attorneys: BAME persons are more likely to seek public legal help in police custody, magistrate courts, and crown courts because of the large number of instances in which the ethnicity of the client is not known, according to the information available (Ministry of Justice, 2017b). Reduced legal aid budgets are likely to have exacerbated already high levels of distrust between legal aid providers and their clients due to a combination of declining service quality and rising resource demands (Edwards, 2011). When it came to making a decision on whether or not to plead guilty, several participants believed that the calibre and intentions of their legal counsel were particularly important influences.

Legal assistance recipients are more likely to disregard the advice of their attorneys when it comes to deciding whether to accept a plea deal or fight it, which may explain certain racial disparities in sentence severity (compared to defendants who pay for private lawyers). In 2014, 69% of white defendants in Crown Court pled guilty to specific offences including violence against the person. Only 60 percent of mixed-ethnicity defendants, 54 percent of black defendants, and 53 percent of Asian defendants identify themselves as such, according to a new study (Ministry of Justice, 2015). Some of these inequalities may be explained by the disproportionate rates at which BAME defendants are arrested and prosecuted for offences that carry relatively heavy penalties, according to a review by Bridges (2018) of the Lammy Review.

Diversity in criminal justice institutions

There is a distinct lack of diversity among those working in the criminal justice system. In 2016, just 5.5% of police officers were people of colour, despite the fact that the BAME population made up 14.0% of the total. It has been found that no police force has a BAME representation that matches its local demographics, according to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee’s report (2016). Only 6% of the 2997 total court judges are people of colour, despite the fact that people of colour account for 19% of all defendants. (Lammy, 2017).

However, there are differences of opinion as to how much racial bias in the criminal justice system can be prevented by increasing the ethnic variety of those working in the field. When institutions’ racial demographics mirror the communities they serve, it sends a strong message of equality to those who live there, many think (Fridell et al., 2008). Racial diversity is expected to help corporations better comprehend minority viewpoints and make more informed strategic choices by increasing the possibility that institutions will do so. Positive interactions between frontline staff and BAME communities in different institutions, say people on the ground, may improve trust and confidence in institutions (Hong, 2016).

According to Bridges and Fekete (2018), increasing the racial diversity of criminal justice workers may distract from more pressing issues. There is a lack of robust empirical data proving that increasing the racial diversity in criminal justice institutions is suitable for the criminal justice system. When it came to the motivations for increasing racial diversity in the criminal justice system, BAME participants were very sceptical. Some see the diversification of the police force as a ploy to gain support rather than a sincere endeavour to create a more reasonable police force. At the institutional level, several participants were ready to discuss the issue of diversity in the judiciary. Judges’ lack of empathy for young people, particularly those of colour, has been seen by some as a symptom. Amidst this, a group of researchers found evidence to support the idea that a defendant’s race might impact the harshness of their sentencing. No amount of racial diversity training for police personnel or eliminating discriminatory practices such as stop and search or ‘gang’ profiling would be sufficient to erase the cultural memory of police racism in America. One participant emphasized how long-standing historical racism has undermined public confidence in the police, implying that it would take time and effort to restore public confidence in law enforcement.

Racism at the micro-level of decision-making

Our discussions uncovered several examples of racism at the micro and everyday decision-making levels and the systemic institutional racism we heard about. Participants are most concerned about the police, sentencing, and incarceration. Each will be dealt with sequentially. Amid outrage about police stop and search tactics and the targeting of gang members, many were just as ready to share their own stories of racism on a micro-level. The extent to which police officers actively or unwittingly discriminated against individuals of colour was passionately discussed among the BAME participants.

Race-related stereotypes like the “race-weapon” link have been widely discussed as a hazard to frontline police officers’ ability to effectively respond to crime (Spencer et al., 2016). Because racism is so entrenched in the system, some participants claim that police officers have become passive implementers of racist practices. It may be impossible to determine the precise number of police whose daily work is affected by their racist beliefs. Still, previous studies have shown that addressing the most prevalent and dangerous varieties of unconscious racism is vital.

Unfavourable public impressions might affect the courts’ ability to impose a sentence. According to participants, BAME people’s outcomes were significantly impacted by the prevalence of racial bias in the criminal justice system. Many people of colour argued that institutional racism negatively influenced how BAME persons were handled throughout the criminal justice system, including during remand judgments and sentencing, when police labelled them as “gang nominals.” According to some respondents, race may substantially affect the outcome of critical jail choices, particularly in terms of Incentive and Earned Privilege levels. IEP levels dictate how many visits a person may make each month, how much money they can spend each week and other personal conveniences like in-cell T.V.s.

According to prior studies, prison authorities are more likely to regard the “loud and confrontational” behaviour of BAME inmates as undesirable than the behaviour of white convicts (Phillips, 2012). In March 2016, just 4.9% of white people had prior IEP status (the lowest degree of privilege), whereas 7.2% of mixed ethnicity and 7.6% of people of colour had IEP status. The apparent inability of participants to challenge some of the decisions made by sure of the correctional staff exacerbated their fury. Only one per cent of complaints citing prison staff discrimination was upheld by an M.P.’s recent report on the treatment and outcomes of BAME people in the criminal justice system (Lammy, 2017). When prisoners make requests or voice concerns about certain decisions, participants agreed that they must be forceful to get the attention of prison authorities. These findings regarding the prevalence of racism in prisons are backed up by several organizations dedicated to protecting prisoners’ rights, including Radical Alternatives to Prisons (RAP) and Preserve the Rights of Prisoners (PROP). People are confined in detention cells for more than 23 hours a day without access to critical supplies and services because of austerity measures. Suppose there is a rise in tension between people serving prison sentences and those enforcing them. In that case, BAME people will bear the brunt of decisions that further erode their human dignity and result in even more dehumanizing treatment in prison.


There was a wide range of opinions on the criminal justice system, but the most common cause of concern was the police. All four focus groups discussed racism and prejudice in frontline criminal justice workers’ everyday decision-making in similar ways. Race-based stop-and-searches and racial profiling have been a problem in the past. Race-based discrimination has caused BAME groups, including among young Black men, to suffer a social shame. However, reversing techniques like gang-targeting or stop-and-search won’t immediately improve police relations with BAME communities, despite the apparent ramifications for policy and practise. Those who participated have shared their tales here. The courts and prisons were also major sources of worry. Prejudice in the courts was blamed in large part on the diversity of the judges. Participants often underlined the racial and socioeconomic disparities among the accused in this case. Young black men’s disproportionate dependence on cooperative companies, as well as discrimination against them, were also contentious concerns. People of color’s disproportionately negative sentencing outcomes were seen as a continuation of racial disparities in police policies and procedures that had been established earlier. Racism upstream is a problem. Reiterate that the IEP programme has been shown to be an important contributor to wrongful imprisonment. There was a widespread belief that people of colour serving jail terms would be exposed to harsher treatment and more unfavourable privilege-level choices than white inmates. Federal jail convicts are being treated more brutally than their white counterparts, according to study (National Offender Management Service, 2016). However, notwithstanding the findings of this research, the criminal justice system continues to discriminate against persons of colour.


Race-based discrimination is rampant in the criminal justice system, according to this study’s results. An investigation of male prisoner experiences and viewpoints is utilised to examine some of the most disturbing regulations and practises. There are macro-level disparities in racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system. Suppression of sentence proportionality due to racial bias in stop and search practises, the targeting and harassment of suspected gang nominals, and the lack of diversity in courtrooms were among the issues identified by research participants. We can get a more realistic picture of racial inequality in the criminal justice system by looking at the experiences of individuals who have been affected by it. Qualitative study on racial bias may be done using these methods. To solve issues like these from a policy viewpoint could be difficult if you get mired down in the technicalities.’

In the article’s first paragraph, it is mentioned that the high percentage of BAME inmates is due to racial injustices. Black Caribbean children are expelled from school at a rate three times higher than white British students. As a consequence of decades of media mistreatment, the BAME community’s credibility has been severely eroded (Bhatia et al., 2018). According to a study undertaken by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the poverty rate for blacks is about double that of whites. In the workplace, racial prejudice may be a factor (Drydakis et al., 2017).

It’s also possible to employ the criminal justice system in a way that does more or less harm to society. Those who agree with the paper’s major themes believe that police gang lists and stop and search procedures should be phased out (Clarke, 2017). It is time to do away with the discriminatory joint venture model and replace it with a structure that is more inclusive. No matter how hard we try, changing criminal justice policy can only go so far in alleviating racial disparities in the criminal court system.


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