The Young Review launched in December 2014 with a report which gave a comprehensive insight into the disproportionality of BAME* people and Muslim men within the criminal justice system. It made trailblazing recommendations to inoculate against racial bias within the criminal justice system.
One of the recommendations of the report was to establish an independent advisory group with experts from various fields of the criminal justice system. A group oversaw the implementation of the Young Review recommendations.
To continue the important legacy of the Young Review, the Young Review Independent Advisory Group was rebranded and renamed as EQUAL in 2018.
Our vision and mission
Our vision is a criminal justice system that delivers fair outcomes for all. Our purpose is to help those involved in the development and delivery of criminal justice practice and policy to create a system free from unfair outcomes for Black and Minority Ethnic people.
We believe that action must be taken to address the issues that lead to unjust experiences and outcomes for Black and Minority Ethnic people in the criminal justice system.
To address the poorer outcomes experienced by BAME groups and Muslims in the criminal justice system.
Our three policy priority areas
- Prisons and probation
- Policing of BAME young people
- Youth justice system
These policy areas will be the focus of our work for the year ahead. We have made changes to the structure of the Secretariat for the Group, provided by ARE, with the recruitment of a Communications Officer reflecting the new strategy’s focus of greater emphasis around our communications.
Ethnic inequalities in sentencing and remand
Download the briefing, which takes a comprehensive look at uniquely linked data from Crown Court and magistrate’s databases from the Ministry of Justice’s Data First programme.
Written by Dr Kitty Lymperopoulou as part of an ESRC-funded research project, supported by EQUAL, Clinks and the MoJ.
One of the big achievements of the Young Review Independent Advisory Group has been the relationship that has been built with MOJ/HMPPS particularly around the implementation of the Lammy Review. Here, the Advisory Group is viewed as a key partner and scrutineer of the delivery of the recommendations outlined in David Lammy’s report.
However, the Chair and advisory group members, whilst valuing the importance of working closely with government, want to see EQUAL challenge policy that perpetuates ethnic disparities. So the policy priorities identify themes such as working with government on the use of the Public Sector Equality Duty in our criminal justice system institutions.
We have also been actively arguing for reform of the Gang’s Matrix through the Mayor of London’s review of the Matrix. The 2018 report from the Information Commissioner should act as a wake-up call for all of our CJS institutions about the dangers of systemically perpetuating the criminalisation of minority groups.
In March 2021, EQUAL formed part of a coalition of criminal justice and race equality organiations to campaign around the elements of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (now Act) that the government themselves admitted will have a disproportionate impact on racially minoritised people in equality assessments.
In 2020, EQUAL held an online panel discussion with guests including: Keith Fraser a former British police officer, chair of the Youth Justice Board; Neena Samota, Programme Director for Criminology and Sociology at St. Mary’s University; and Sammy Odoi a social worker and founder of Wipers Youth CIC.
We will progress this agenda of working productively with the Ministry of Justice and HM Prison and Probation Service in implementing the Lammy agenda and continue to challenge injustice and building partnerships across civil society and academia to further our aims.
*BAME is the term used by EQUAL