I’ts so shocking, despite all efforts made to reduce the rate at which young black boys are involved in crime, the figures continue to rise. According to a watchdog report detailed in a study of perceptions of those between 12 and 18 who were held in YOIs (young offenders institution) or secure training centres (STCs) in England and Wales from April 2017 to March 2018 shows more than half of boys held in this institutions were from a black or minority ethnic background (BME) the highest recorded since HM Inspectorate of Prisons began carrying out the analysis in 2001. See snapshot of reports below.

The outcome of the report did not indicate that black young boys are more likely to commit a crime when compared to other ethnic groups but previous analysis released by the ministry of justice revealed that young black people are nine times more likely to be locked up in England and Wales than young white people because they are more likely to be identified with “gang concerns” and be considered a risk to others when being sentenced than any other ethnic group.

In another report, commissioned by Downing Street and carried out by a Labour black MP, David Lammy, in 2017 also confirmed that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds were more likely to be jailed for some crimes than those who were white. It revealed ethnic disparities at many stages of the criminal process, including arrest, charging, prosecution and imprisonment.

Reacting to the latest findings, Mr Lammy said: ‘This is deeply alarming and now must be viewed as an urgent national crisis. ‘We are not only failing to make progress to address these racial inequalities; things are getting significantly worse. ‘From childhood right through to courts and adult prisons, our justice system entrenches and exacerbates the divides in our society.’

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This is a wakeup call for the British government to do something about black labelling including tackling the unfairness in the justice system affecting young black people. What do you think?

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