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Lammy Review must be catalyst for change across criminal justice, health and social systems says charity Revolving Doors

Revolving Doors welcomes David Lammy’s report into the treatment and outcomes for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the Criminal Justice System.

The review unequivocally demonstrates the disproportionality faced by children, young people and adults from BAME backgrounds in contact with criminal justice from the prosecution, through to the courts, prisons, probation and rehabilitation.

Whilst a sharp focus on the justice system has been important given the huge damage this can cause, we know from our work that people in touch with the justice system regularly interact with other systems and services such as mental health, substance misuse treatment and housing support. The pathways into and out of these services are clearly different depending on people’s ethnicity. For example, there is an over-representation of African-Caribbean people entering secondary mental health services via the courts or police, rather than through primary care.

This report should provide the catalyst for action to address these disparities and support people out of the revolving door of crisis and crime.

Revolving Doors welcomes the recommendation to roll out ‘deferred prosecution’ schemes, ensuring that people access interventions early on in the process – reducing crime and improving lives.  This will only work if the resources are available in communities to do this work well.

Christina Marriott, Chief Executive of Revolving Doors Agency, said:

“The difference in care, experience and outcomes for people from minority ethnic backgrounds is unacceptable.  Disproportionality in the criminal justice system in compounded by disproportionality across many other services including mental health.  

We now call on each part of the criminal justice system to rigorously understand the experience and outcomes for people from different ethnic groups and use this to end discrimination.  We also call the government to ensure enough quality, culturally competent services are available in the community to support people from minority ethnic backgrounds to exit the revolving door of crisis and crime.”