The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has made a submission to the submitted its response to David Lammy's review of racial bias in the criminal justice system.
While welcoming the review, our response raises concerns that its terms of reference limit it to examining racial bias from decisions by the Crown Prosecution Service onwards. To understand and address the over-representation of black and minority ethnic people (BAME) in the criminal justice system, we argue in our response, it is crucial to consider the entry points into the system rather than merely how the system deals with BAME people.
'A narrow focus on the CPS stage onwards', we argue, 'will therefore ignore important questions about why so many BAME people are being drawn into the system in the first place'.
'It is only by an examination across the whole of the social experience of BAME lives that it will be possible to understand the place and role of the specific set of administrative procedures that make up the criminal justice process'.