Why are there so many African Caribbean young

Why are at that place so many African Caribbean immature people involved in the young person justness system in general and the secure estate in peculiar?

Before we can get down to prosecute with this argument, there are a few points which must be raised in relation to the diction of the inquiry ; First, we must presume that the inquiry is mentioning to the figure of African Caribbean immature people involved in theUnited kingdomcondemnable justness system ; after all, if the treatment was about the condemnable justness system of Jamaica, this inquiry as a whole could be answered really merely! Second, in inquiring why there ‘are so many African Caribbean immature people involved in the [ UK ] condemnable justness system, ’ we must presume that the inquiry is mentioning to therelationproportion of this cultural group, instead than the sheer Numberss of participants. Third, the word ‘involved’ does non do clear precisely to which immature Black Caribbean’s it refers, does it intend those immature people who have been prosecuted under the young person justness system as wrongdoers or those immature Black Caribbean’s who work for it/ aid in its operation? or both? From the context of the inquiry, I feel that it is safe to presume that the purpose behind the inquiry was to restrict the range of the word ‘involved’ to the former class, i.e. those Black Caribbean’s who have really been prosecuted/ charged under the young person justness system, as wrongdoers. Fourthly, it should be clarified that the wrongdoers to which the inquiry relates are those immature wrongdoers who have been dealt with by the young person justness system, and as such they will be between the ages of 12 and 17. Fifthly, the definition of ‘secure estate’ seems ill-defined ; whilst the word ‘secure’ seems to denote an component of physical limitation, does this refer entirely to detention, i.e. under a Detention and Training Order or a Section 90/91 Judgement, or does this extend to Curfew Orders [ e.g. Local Child Curfew ] , ASBOs, ISOs and ABCs etc. I would propose that it referred to all sentences which result in the immature offender’s motion from being restricted, in peculiar detention. I would hence re-write the inquiry of this essay as follows:

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Why are at that place disproportional Numberss of African Caribbean immature wrongdoers [ 12-17 twelvemonth olds ] in the UK youth justness system in general and the secure estate [ i.e. detention, or any other movement-restricting condemning order ] in peculiar?

I shall get down this essay with an analysis of the current statistical informations refering to the comparative Numberss of immature Black Caribbean wrongdoers involved in the UK condemnable justness system. I shall so turn to several of the current criminological theories that purport to explicate this statistical phenomenon, critically measuring the strengths and failings of each. I shall reason by asseverating that whilst institutional racism must surely be considered a considerable contributory factor in this argument, this theory entirely can non function to adequately explicate the disproportional Numberss of African Caribbean immature people involved in the UK condemnable justness system.

Rather, I shall reason that the chief ground for this tendency is due to economic considerations ; statistics show that offense occurs with greater frequence in poorer countries of the UK, and it merely so happens that a higher proportion of Black Caribbean households live and work in these countries. It is for this ground, I shall reason, that there are disproportional Numberss of African Caribbean immature people involved in the UK youth justness system in general and the secure estate, in peculiar.

Identifying the tendency: Are at that place disproportional Numberss of African Caribbean immature people involved in the UK youth justness system?

Statisticss published by the Home Office in 2003 [ 1 ] show that since 1997, the Numberss of African-Caribbean captives has increased by 58 % . These statistics besides reveal that of all the black wrongdoers in prison in the UK, 90 % of these are people from the Black Caribbean cultural group.

In relation to immature wrongdoers, the Youth Justice Board, in its 2002/3 one-year reappraisal, reported that of all the immature wrongdoers being prosecuted in this period, 5.6 % were Black Caribbean. This is surprisingly high if one considers that this cultural group merely makes up less than 2 % of the UK’s population in entire. In other words, the demographics of immature wrongdoers in the UK is non-representative of the demographics of the population of the UK as a whole. This is a determination that has been supported by the findings of the Home Office in 2004/5, as published in November 2006 in a papers entitled ‘Race and the Criminal Justice System: An Overview of the Complete Statisticss 2004-05 [ 2 ] ’ . This papers reports that in this period, 6 % of the immature wrongdoers who came into contact with the condemnable justness system were Black, 90 % of these being Black Caribbean. As the study provinces: the findings “show rather clearly that people from BME groups are over-represented [ 3 ] .

Chapter 13 of the study offers some of the possible grounds for this over-representation ; these include: police favoritism [ 4 ] , factors of societal human ecology [ 5 ] , the fact that Black people may pass more clip on the streets than other cultural groups, constabularies entering patterns and the fact that Black people are more likely to be known to the constabulary. Each of these accounts shall be assessed in bend in the following subdivision of this essay.

Before we embark on a critical analysis of these accounts, I would wish to raise an extra point pertaining to the diction of the inquiry ; the inquiry assumes that there are disproportional Numberss of African Caribbean immature wrongdoers in the UK youth justness system. It goes on to stipulate that this disproportion exists both ‘in general’ , but ‘in particular’ in relation to those immature Black wrongdoers who are in ‘secure estate’ . This therefore suggests that the disproportionate over-representation of immature Black Caribbean wrongdoers is even more apparent when one looks at those immature Black people who are presently held in detention, i.e. under a Detention and Training Order, or a Section 90/91 condemning opinion. This implies that something must be go oning in the condemnable justness procedure to do this addition in representation. Such a factor may be institutional racism, non merely by the Police as mentioned earlier, but besides by the Courts who sentence these immature wrongdoers. This will hence be another ‘explanation’ that I analyse in the following subdivision of this essay.

Current Criminological Explanations of this over-representation of Black Caribbean young person wrongdoers in the condemnable justness system ; a critical analysis:

Let us foremost assess the contention that the ground for the over-representation of immature Black Caribbean wrongdoers in the young person justness system is the being of unwanted institutional racism, which exists in the procedures of the UK Police Force. This is an statement raised by criminologists Smith and Gray in their research study entitled ‘Police and the Public’ .

During the Steven Lawrence public question [ 6 ] , two chief academic attacks to institutional racism were examined ; viz. , Lord Scarman’s Report of the Inquiry into the Brixton Disorders, 1981, Dr Robin Oakley’s paper ‘Institutional Racism and Police Service Delivery.’

Lord Scarman, in his study, argued from his findings that whilst non all constabulary officers were racially prejudiced, those who did look to keep such racist positions made a important impact on the general pattern of the Metropolitan Police Service. This theory has become known as the ‘bad apple theory [ 7 ] .’ This theory fails to adequately separate between single racism and institutional racism ; the former can be eradicated through preparation, and designation of single constabulary officers, the latter is far more insurgent, being far harder to recognize when the really biass and behaviour exposing such racism is common pattern within the establishment itself. For illustration, John Grieve, the officer in charge of the Steven Lawrence probe, merely recognised his ain biass when public questions around him examine profoundly into his natural attitudes and sentiments. He writes: “I am a racialist. I must be because Sir William Macpherson of Cluny said that I am ; the Home Secretary said that I am ; infinite members of the populace at the enquiry hearings said that I am ; and I have found inside myself grounds of elusive bias, prepossession and indirect favoritism. It is for others to make up one’s mind about their ain racism. I am for alteration inside myself and in the behaviour of myself and others. [ 8 ] ” He so writes the same about the Metropolitan Police Service [ 9 ] . Such institutional bias is non interpretable by the ‘bad apple theory ; ’ the root of this bias is non simply from an isolatable few, but instead from beliefs, attitudes and sentiments which are engrained within the really patterns of the Police Force.

Dr Oakly’s account is far more convincing ; he pointed out that constabulary officers do non needfully cover with a representative demographic cross-section of the population during their working hours, and this skewed point of view can take to the preparation of negative stereotypes. This is natural ; after all, it is human nature to construct premises based upon insistent experiences. He strikes at the bosom of what institutional racism really is, composing “differential intervention demand be neither witting nor knowing and it may be practiced routinely by officers whose professionalism is model in all other respects. [ 10 ] ” An illustration of such ‘differential intervention includes using halt and hunt powers more strictly with Black Caribbean young persons than with 1s from white backgrounds ; Home Office research suggests that “black people are eight times more likely to be stopped and searched under the Policing and Criminal Evidence Act and 27.5 times more likely to be stopped and searched under subdivision 60 of the Crime and Public Order Act 1994, which does non necessitate sensible evidences of suspicion.” [ 11 ] ] In other words, the root cause of this phenomenon is non a ‘few bad apples’ but is instead the really attitudes which are ingrained within the policies and patterns of the establishment.

Both studies provide converting informations that such racism does be, in peculiar towards Black Caribbean young persons, but it is Dr Oakley’s account for this which is the most convincing, and besides optimistic ; if we can impeach an establishment of being ‘naturally’ racialist, so it may be that this establishment, instead than going defensive, may seek to alter their attitudes through preparations and awareness runs.

Having hence established that the UK Police service does at times discriminate against the immature Black Caribbean, and being satisfied, at least in portion, by some of the accounts offered as to why such institutional racism exists, we must now measure whether or non this fact entirely could be responsible for the disproportionately high Numberss of such young persons involved in the young person justness system.

Before we go on to measure this inquiry, I would foremost wish to widen the treatment to the institutional racism, which may be in the tribunal system of the young person justness processes in general ; after all, certainly the same principle above would use to the tribunals who besides may organize negative stereotypes based upon the fact that the immature suspects which they come into contact with are made up of a disproportionately high figure of Black Caribbeans [ a factor which is no uncertainty perpetuated by the institutional racism of the Police who are the 1s responsible for collaring suspects and bear downing them to look before such courts as suspects, and besides from the built-in bitterness which would ensue by this cultural group from being treated in this manner ] . On top of this, as Andrew Ashworth notes, a huge bulk of Judgess in such courts are white, in-between category Oxbridge educated professionals, and their positions will therefore of course and accidentally be slightly biased in favor of their ain sort.

Returning so to the inquiry of whether institutional racism entirely can be responsible for the phenomenon identified in the inquiry ; If the principle of such racism is rooted in an premise that a higher proportion of Black Caribbean childs, compared to the entire figure of such childs in the UK, come into contact with the constabulary and the tribunals than any other cultural group, so it would look more pertinent to inquire why this is the instance, instead than discoursing the racism which, albeit may ensue in the prolongation or hyperbole of this fact, is simply attendant upon it. The inquiry we must therefore ask is the undermentioned ; why are so many Black Caribbean young persons involved in condemnable activity?

If we instantly reject any treatments of built-in criminalism, we must instead turn to issues of societal and economic want. Theorists have written for centuries on the root causes of offense, and few would differ that in the most portion, offense is caused by unequal distribution of wealth, the being of which is a natural consequence of a capitalist social government. Crime therefore occurs more often in countries of hapless economic and societal position. If this is the instance, so possibly we explain the phenomenon in the inquiry through resort to statistics which demonstrate that a huge figure of the Black Caribbean households who live and work in the UK do so in some of the poorest Inner-city countries. If this were the instance, so the disproportionately high Numberss of such wrongdoers involved in the young person justness system would all of a sudden look no more than a natural merchandise of the environment in which members of this cultural group tend to populate, albeit perpetuated by other factors such as single and institutional racism.

Before we examine the statistics in this country, I would foremost wish to discourse some of the other accounts which have been offered to explicate the phenomenon, and assess whether these can besides be included into our social/economic statement. In fact, if we re-examine all the accounts offered in Chapter 13 of Section 95 Statistics 2004/5 on Race and the Criminal Justice System, as discussed above, it is shortly clear to see that all of the accounts offered can be explained in footings of economic considerations: To remind ourselves, Chapter 13 of the study offered the following possible grounds for this over-representation. These included: constabulary favoritism, factors of societal human ecology, the fact that Black people may pass more clip on the streets than other cultural groups, constabularies entering patterns and the fact that Black people are more likely to be known to the constabulary.

We have already discussed constabulary favoritism, and prejudiced constabulary entering patterns, and similarly, if we accept the hypothesis that young persons from poorer countries are more likely to perpetrate or be involved in offense or condemnable activities because of the fact that there are disproportional figure of Black Caribbean young persons populating in poorer countries, so it would look merely natural that Black people are more likely to be known to the constabulary, and are more likely to be hanging out on street corners etc. In fact, the suggestion that a possible ground might be ‘factors of societal demography’ is a complete understatement ; all of the other theories can be explained in such footings, and as such, it is for grounds of societal human ecology entirely that the sort of phenomenon in the inquiry has been identified.

This statement has been raised by Fitzgerald, in his 1993 expounding entitled ‘Ethnic Minorities and the Criminal Justice System’ , a research undertaking which was really conducted under Royal Commission by the Criminal Justice Research Study. More late, this account has been re-raised by Oxford Criminologist Mr. David Faulkner [ 12 ] who argues that it is this ground entirely that is responsible for the over-representation of Black Caribbeans in the young person justness system.

Make the statistics support the hypothesis ; are Black Caribbean households the poorest cultural group in the UK?

In 1997, a study entitled ‘The Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities [ 13 ] ’ conducted by the Policy Studies Institute on Diversity and Disadvantage found that 40 % of African Caribbean households were populating under incomes which were less than half the national norm.

Similarly, a study published in 2001 [ 14 ] suggested that about 70 % of all Black Caribbean UK occupants live in 88 of the most economically deprived countries.

In 2002, a study [ 15 ] entitled ‘Black People Pushing Back the Boundaries’ published by the Greater London Authority held that of all the homeless families classified as a precedence by London boroughs, 52 % were made up of Black households, 89 % of these being specifically Black Caribbean.

All of these statistics seem to suit within the hypothesis of Faulkner, although before a causative correlativity could be found, it would be necessary to analyze informations over the old ages and see if the alterations in these above statistics revealed similar fluctuations in the statistics refering to the representation of Black Caribbean immature wrongdoers involved in the UK justness system.

In decision, I would reason the followers ; whilst institutional racism in the Police service and the Courts is clearly a large job facing 21stCentury offense direction and criminology, the really grounds for these phenomena must non be forgotten. Black Carribeans are amongst the poorest cultural group shacking in the UK, and as such, it makes sense that so many of these people are turning to offense in order to last and back up their households. With immature people, there may besides be a great bitterness towards the UK authorities for the institutional racism which exists and “for a sensed deficiency of support in assisting the Black Caribbean community out of its province of poorness [ 16 ] ” , and this could be another important factor in the disproportional Numberss of such wrongdoers being involved in the young person justness system in the UK.

If the UK authorities therefore wants to avoid the public calls to halt institutional racism, so they must make more than merely subject their establishments of justness to awareness preparation ; whilst this cultural group remains the poorest, whatever preparation programmes are instigated will still non alter the statistics which point to over-representation. Without undertaking the root cause, the lone manner establishments will function to better these statistics is to change by reversal their racism, and arrest and sentence less Black Caribbean wrongdoers than their white and other opposite numbers. This is non desirable ; one can non manually re-shift the balance whilst at the same clip keeping judicial unity.


Smith, D.J. , & A ; Gray, J. ( 1985 ) . Police and the Public. London: Gower

Section 95 Statistics 2004/5 on Race and the Criminal Justice System

hypertext transfer protocol: //www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs06/s95overview0405.pdf

FitzGerald, M. ( 1993 ) . Cultural Minorities and the Criminal Justice System. Royal Commission on Criminal Justice Research Study 20. London: HMSO

MacPherson Report ; ofiicial study of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, February 1999

Hoew, D. , From Bobby to Babylon: Blacks and the British Police, London: Race Today Publications, 1988.

Does Institutional Racism Exist In the Metropolitan Police Service? John G.D. Grieve & A ; Julie French.

Institute for the Study of Civil Society London 2006 Oakley, R. , ‘Institutional Racism and Police Service Delivery’ , quoted in Macpherson, W. , The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, London: The Stationery Office, February 1999

Home Office ( 2003 ) Race and the Criminal Justice System 2002

David Faulkner ; Crime, State and Citizen: a Field full of Folk. Waterside Press 2neodymiumEd. 2006

Policy Studies Institute ( 1997 ) , Diversity and Disadvantage: The Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities.

London Skills Forecasting Unit ( Feb 2001 ) , Capital Shaping London ‘s Local Economies

Greater London Authority ( June 2002 ) Black People Pushing Back the Boundaries


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