Over representation of Black People in UK Prisons
This is text from the website of the Free Churches Group reporting on a day conference in which Churches Together in England were partners:
The over-representation of Black People in UK Prisons “It is absolutely clear that black people are over-represented in prisons in England and Wales, and have been for more than 30 years” (Dr Elizabeth Henry)
[Black Man Prison] In UK the proportion of black people incarcerated is currently seven times higher than the general population. Academics, faith practitioners, MoJ representatives, along with church and community leaders assembled in Prisons Week 2014 in Westminster to explore just why this was the case, and interrogate the issue in a way that could elicit a tangible response to what has been termed a social blasphemy. In its 2015 Black Church political manifesto, NCLF – A Black Christian Voice on behalf of Pentecostal and Black-led churches have made their views known that countering this injustice is a key priority for the church today.
The four speakers in Westminster addressed over-representations in quite distinct ways. Starting with an historical overview of black settlement in the UK, they moved through a statistical exploration of the various stages of the criminal justice system where black people experience worse outcomes, to a consideration of gender issues and church responses, and finally ending by examining those factors which may help black people who do end up in prison to have better chances of desisting from crime. A common message was heard that at every stage of the criminal justice process, more could be done to reduce rates of incarceration amongst black people.
Read the whole report on the website of the Free Churches Group