In 2012 BTEG and Clinks agreed to work together to propel the issue of the disproportionately high numbers of black, Asian and minority ethnic offenders in the prison system up the Ministry of Justice's (MOJ) agenda. An independent review was established chaired by Baroness Young of Hornsey and supported by an Advisory Group.
Following a meeting with the Secretary of State the final shape of the review was formed with a focus on black and/or Muslim males (18-24) offenders. With funding from Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Young Review has successfully concluded Phase I. Key achievements have been:
An interim report, focusing primarily on commissioning and the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda, which was directly requested by the Secretary of State for Justice;
Increased awareness amongst mainstream providers of the need to improve outcomes for young male black and Muslim offenders;
Greater engagement with MOJ Ministers and senior officials which has contributed to raising the issue of improving outcomes for BAME offenders higher up the policy agenda within NOMS and the MOJ;
The final report, which was launched in December 2014, sets out a pathway that, if followed, should create a structure where the voluntary sector, former users and/or user-led organisations, faith groups and MOJ/NOMS can develop the sustained focus required to improve outcomes for young BAME offenders.
Since the launch of the report, which was fully accepted by NOMS/MOJ, the Young Review has moved into its second phase. The main focus so far has been on establishing an Independent Advisory Group chaired by Baroness Young to work with MOJ/NOMS in implementing the report’s recommendations and establishing a robust, sustainable framework to address the challenges of the over representation of black and Muslim young offenders in the offender management system. BTEG is providing the secretariat and policy support for the Young Review in this second phase.
The project is funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust, Lankelly Foundation and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation for a period of three years.