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About EQUAL

The Young Review launched in December 2014 with a report which gave a comprehensive insight into the disproportionality of BAME people and Muslim men within the criminal justice system. It made trailblazing recommendations to inoculate against racial bias within the CJS. One of the recommendations of the report was set up an independent advisory group which was established with experts from various fields of the criminal justice system. YRIAG oversaw the implementations of the recommendations from the Young Review. 

Baroness Lola Young Steered YRIAG for six years before stepping down as Chair in 2018. 

To continue the important legacy of the Young Review, Iqbal Wahhab OBE was appointed as Chair of the Young Review Independent Advisory Group which was rebranded and renamed as EQUAL.

Our vision and mission

Our vision is a criminal justice system that delivers fair outcomes for all. Our purpose is to help those involved in the development and delivery of criminal justice practice and policy to create a system free from unfair outcomes for Black and Minority Ethnic people. 

We believe that action must be taken to address the issues that lead to unjust experiences and outcomes for Black and Minority Ethnic people in the criminal justice system.

Our aim

To address the poorer outcomes experienced by BAME groups and Muslims in the criminal justice system.

Our three policy priority areas

  • Prisons and probation

  • Policing of BAME young people

  • Youth justice system

These policy areas will be the focus of our work for the year ahead.

We have made changes to the structure of the Secretariat for the Group, provided by BTEG, with the recruitment of a communications officer reflecting the new strategy’s focus of greater emphasis around our communications.

One of the big achievements of the Young Review Independent Advisory Group has been the relationship that has been built with MOJ/HMPPS particularly around the implementation of the Lammy Review. Here the Advisory Group is viewed as a key partner and scrutineer of the delivery of the recommendations outlined in David Lammy’s report.

However, the Chair and advisory group members, whilst valuing the importance of working closely with government, want to see Equal challenge policy that perpetuates ethnic disparities. So the policy priorities identify themes such as working with government on the use of the Public Sector Equality Duty in our criminal justice system institutions.

We have also been actively arguing for reform of the Gang’s Matrix through the Mayor of London’s review of the Matrix. The recent report from the Information Commissioner should act as a wake up call for all of our CJS institutions to the dangers of systemically perpetuating the criminalisation of minority groups.

We will progress this agenda of working productively with the MOJ/HMPPS in implementing the Lammy agenda but challenge injustice and building partnerships across civil society and academia to further our aims. 

Visit the EQUAL website

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