Key takeaways from Finding justice in the youth justice system event

Crown Prosecutor, Oriana FrameWe hosted a virtual conference on 20 October to explore race disparity and how we can improve youth justice outcomes for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic children.

The speakers included Baljit Ubhey OBE, Director of Prosecution Policy and Strategy at the CPS; Keith Fraser, Chair of the Youth Board for England & Wales; Dr Craig Pinkney; Andy George, Chair of the National Black Police Association and Amania Scott-Samuels, Standing Committee for Youth Justice.

Crown Prosecutor, Oriana Frame, who attended the event, has shared her key takeaways.

On 20 October, I attended the absolutely brilliant online conference run by the NBCPA.  The speakers were passionate, informed and completely compelling, and a downside of having this conference digitally is that we were unable to give the speakers the standing ovation they deserved.

Some of my key takeaways:

  • The undeniable and completely unacceptable over-representation of minorities in a system that clearly works better for white children.
  • The very real danger that policy and strategy in respect of youth justice is driven by headlines opposed to the data.
  • The need for radical conversations that lead to change and contemporary solutions and not simply more academia.
  • A necessity of addressing the labels we use. In particular the term ‘BAME’- the labels we use are often not created by, or discussed with, the communities and individuals they purport to apply to.
  • Racism is not a black problem. Racism is systemic and inherent in institutions and society as a whole needs to address it. White privilege is real and our power structures need to be re-examined and reconfigured. The CPS has an ongoing responsibility as a public institution to address systemic racism and continue to scrutinise ourself.
  • And lastly, my personal responsibility as a Prosecutor and as a white individual to be part of that change.

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