Prisoners: Ethnic Groups

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 27th June 2022.

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Photo of Ellie Reeves Ellie Reeves Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to improve outcomes for prisoners from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

We want people to have confidence in a justice system that is fair and open, where no person suffers discrimination of any kind. The over-representation of ethnic minorities in prisons, and in the justice system more widely, is a real concern and we continue to prioritise understanding and tackling any disparities they face.

Our commitment to tackling race and ethnic disparity is clear, as set out in the government’s Inclusive Britain strategy (published in response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities). It laid out a clear and broad set of steps we are taking in relation to improving outcomes in criminal justice, and built on the extensive work undertaken in response to the 2017 Lammy Review, a detailed overview of which can be found in the Tackling Racial Disparity updates published in 2018 and 2020.

Our work to tackle disparities focuses on not just the initial actions committed to in response to the Lammy Review, such as significant efforts to ensure a more representative HMPPS workforce, but also builds on these steps, going further where we can, By way of example, we launched a Stewardship Fund of over £1.5m to better support grassroot, ethnic minority-led and specialist voluntary or community sector organisations. Through the provision of informed services to ethnic minority offenders, they help turn their lives around, reduce reoffending, and improve outcomes for them and wider society.

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