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Race and the criminal justice system statistics

MOJ 2018 statistics published

06 December 2019
Race and the criminal justice system statistics

The Ministry of Justice has published statistics for 2018 on the experiences of people from different ethnic groups and backgrounds of the criminal justice system (CJS). They bring together information from various data sources to give detailed information on how the CJS is experienced by people in different ethnic groups.

These statistics do not control for other characteristics, but they do indicate areas for further investigation into why certain groups are disproportionately represented within the system. Generally, people from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) groups are over-represented at numerous stages of the CJS in comparison to those from the White ethnic group.

The statistics show that children from BAME groups are still disproportionately represented throughout the CJS in comparison with their White counterparts. Key findings include:

  • Since 2014-2015, the proportion of children arrested identified as White decreased from 76% to 69%, while for children identified as Black, the proportion increased from 12% to 16% during the same period.
  • In 2018, 40% of prisoners aged under 18 were Black or Mixed ethnicity, although these ethnic groups account for 17% of the entire prison population.

For adults, the statistics show that:

  • The proportion of stop and searches conducted on White suspects decreased from 75% in 2014-2015 to 59% in 2018-2019, and increased for all minority ethnic groups.
  • 70% of White defendants pleaded guilty in 2018, with defendants from Mixed ethnic groups having a guilty plea rate of 64%, Black defendants having a rate of 57% and Asian and Chinese or Other defendants having a rate of 56%.
  • In 2018, 64% of prisoners from minority ethnic groups reported that they felt safe on their first night in prison, compared with 71% of White prisoners.

More details on these statistics are available here.

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