Tackling inequality between ethnic groups in London's YJS

In July London Councils held an event bringing partners together from across London to share experiences of tackling ethnic disproportionality in the Youth Justice System (YJS)

Highlighted by the Young Review, which published its recommendations in December 2014 for improving outcomes for young black and/ or Muslim men in the criminal justice system, it has since featured in Charlie Taylor's interim review of youth justice and David Lammy's current review of racial bias and BAME representation in criminal justice.

Despite a series of high-profile reports, disproportionate outcomes for ethnic groups in London persist.

Alongside keynote speakers including David Lammy MP and Baroness Lola Young, there were contributions from London boroughs of Hackney and Lewisham outlining their approaches to improving outcomes for ethnic groups and tackling disproportionality.

The Young Review

Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey, Chair of the Task Group producing recommendations and guidelines as part of the Young Review

Baroness Young discussed the Young Review and its work to improve outcomes for black and Muslim young men in the CJS, with particular attention on the need for the YJS to address ethnic disproportionality.

London Borough of Lewisham: Responding to the Young Review

Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney, Head of Crime Reduction and Supporting People

The findings from Baroness Young’s review were both alarming and sadly recognisable. We, as a borough and a partnership, have taken the findings seriously, and therefore frequently revisit our response to the discrimination as described by the review.

It is my view that prejudice and discrimination in our society is a sign of failure which needs to be challenged, wherever it is seen and heard. For agencies that work in the Criminal Justice field, we have a further responsibility to ensure that our approach to our services are appropriate, and we recognise the detrimental and long-lasting impact of discrimination on individuals and groups within our community.

The London Borough of Lewisham recognises the importance of having an open and
ongoing dialogue with our community and partners. We remain committed to integration,
community engagement and community cohesion.

Review into racial bias and BAME representation in the Criminal Justice System

David Lammy MP for Tottenham, Leading a review of racial bias and BAME representation in the CJS

In January 2016 the Prime Minister invited David Lammy MP to find out why official figures show that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups appear to be overrepresented at most stages of the CJS, and what can be done about it.

The review will look at the way the CJS deals with young people and adults from BAME backgrounds. It will address issues arising from the Crown Prosecution Service onwards, including the court system, prisons and young offender institutions and rehabilitation in the community. The findings should be published in spring 2017.

London Borough of Hackney: Improving outcomes for young black men

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services
Sonia Khan, Head of Policy and Partnerships
Deji Adeoshun, Youth Programmes Officer, Hackney CVS
Jake Ferguson, Chief Executive, Hackney CVS

The Council, Hackney CVS and local partner agencies have worked with young people and parents to launch an ambitious programme to improve outcomes for young black men.

This responds to the fact that young black men (YBM) tend to fare worse than their peers in many ways, from poorer educational results to higher offending rates. Rather than tackle individual problems, our approach involves local people, the voluntary and community sector and the statutory sector in shaping and delivering solutions, with young people at the heart of this.

The presenters provided an overview of the work done to date to develop an approach to bring about social change. We will highlight the institutional and cultural challenges and share learning for other local areas.

The future of the Youth Justice System and tackling ethnic disproportionality

Lin Hinnigan, Chief Executive, Youth Justice Board

This presentation considered:

  • The data which demonstrates the over-representation of BAME groups at all stages of the YJS
  • What factors might contribute to this picture, and
  • The actions which we can take to address the issue by working in partnership across the system.

The new mayoralty and youth justice

Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, MOPAC

Sophie discussed the needs and vulnerabilities of young people who offend and how service commissioning can address inequalities by focusing on:

  • Improving prevention and early intervention; and
  • Improving cultural competence/ensuring a representative workforce.

Rt Hon David Lammy MP

Member of Parliament for Tottenham

David was born in Tottenham in 1972, one of five children raised by a single mother. At eleven years of age, David won a scholarship as a chorister to attend a state choral school at The Kings School in Peterborough. He came back to London in 1990 to study law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Law School. Admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in 1994, David became the first black Briton to study a Masters in Law at the Harvard Law School, graduating in 1997. David returned to England and stood as a Labour candidate for the newly created Greater London Assembly, securing a position as the GLA member with a portfolio for Culture and Arts. Following the sad death of Tottenham’s longstanding MP Bernie Grant, David was elected as Labour MP for Tottenham at the age of 27 in June 2000.

David served 9 years (2001-10) as a Minister in the last Labour government and was made a Privy Councillor in 2008. Since 2010, David has been an active backbench MP. David is also leading a review into the overrepresentation of Black and Minority Ethnic individuals in the criminal justice system. The review will produce a final report and recommendations in Spring 2017. David is also the author of Out of the Ashes: Britain After The Riots, a book investigating the underlying factors behind the 2011 riots and what has to be done to prevent them happening ever again. David lives in Haringey with his wife and three children and is a keen Tottenham Hotspur fan.

Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey

Chair, Young Review Advisory Group

Baroness Young is the Chair of the Young Review Advisory Group which is working with the MoJ and NOMS to improve outcomes for black and/or Muslim young men in the criminal justice system. She also chairs Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk. A member of the House of Lords since 2004, Baroness Young is an Independent Cross Bench peer and has been involved in campaigns on criminalising and combating modern forms of enslavement, and improving the experiences of children in care. In addition, she is a member of the House of Lords EU sub-committee on External Affairs and Defence.

After an acting career in theatre and television, Lola Young became an arts administrator, later moving on to become professor of Cultural Studies at Middlesex University, a writer, cultural critic, public speaker and broadcaster. After a period as project director leading a major initiative at the Black Cultural Archives, Lola subsequently became Head of Culture at the Greater London Authority. She advises arts and cultural agencies and organisations on policy, diversity, leadership and strategic planning and continues to write and produce creative events such as the highly acclaimed national programme of arts and cultural programme, Freedom and Culture.

Lola has sat on the Boards of several national cultural organisations including the South Bank Centre, the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, and The National Archives and is currently a trustee of Somerset House. She has been involved in a number of judging panels, including the Art Fund Prize and The Observer Ethical Awards and chairing the Orange Prize for Literature and the Caine Prize for African Literature. She is a Commissioner at English Heritage and a Freeman of the Tallow Chandlers Livery Company. As an ambassador for the Ethical Fashion Forum and MADE-BY, Baroness Young established and chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion

Lin Hinnigan

Chief Executive, Youth Justice Board

Lin was appointed to the role of Chief Executive on 1st April 2013. Her career has its roots in working with children and young people. After early experience as a teacher and social worker she trained as an educational psychologist.  She worked in local government for a substantial part of her career including five years as Principal Educational Psychologist with Coventry City Council.

Prior to joining YJB Lin has fulfilled Chief Executive roles at the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency and at the Teaching Agency. Previous roles in the Civil Service and public bodies include Area Director of the West Midland for HM Court Service, Head of Legal Services Regulation and Redress in the Ministry of Justice and Director of Strategy at the General Social Care Council

Sophie Linden

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, MOPAC

Sophie Linden is London's Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in the Mayor’s office for Policing and Crime, and brings with her national and local government experience. She was a special advisor to David Blunkett in the Department for Education and Employment from 1997-2001 before moving to the Home Office to work with the police in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour as a special advisor until 2004. Whilst at the Home Office she worked with the Home Secretary and Ministers on policy development and strategy including police reform, crime and antisocial behaviour reduction, neighbourhood policing and reducing the harm caused by illegal drugs. From 2006 Sophie was a Councillor at Hackney Council until her appointment by the Mayor of London. She is the former Deputy Mayor of Hackney Council with lead responsibility for crime and community safety, environmental health and trading standards, equalities and neighbourhood and civic engagement. Hackney Council was recently named the ‘Council of the Last 20 years’ at the 2016 Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards which is a testament to the transformation of services that the Council has achieved. During Sophie’s time at Hackney the borough was also awarded the LGC editor’s award for Public Partnership working in 2014 for its ground breaking gangs unit. Sophie also led the council to achieving excellent on the Equality Framework for Local Government.

Sophie is a former member of the Local Government Association (LGA) Safer Communities Board, a peer reviewer for the LGA on community safety and a member of the HMIC advisory board on PEEL inspections. Sophie has also worked in the voluntary sector as a campaigns and policy manager campaigning to end child poverty, and in the private sector as a Director of Public Affairs. She has lived in Hackney for the last 30 years and has four children.

Geeta Subramaniam-Mooney

Head of Crime Reduction and Supporting People, LB Lewisham

Driven to help improve the lives of all communities, with a specific focus on vulnerable groups including young people, Geeta is currently working as the Head of Crime Reduction and Supporting People at Lewisham Council.  This role has responsibility for community safety; Anti-social behaviour; CCTV; youth offending service; drugs and alcohol services; VAWG; Serious Youth Violence and PREVENT; supporting people; safeguarding vulnerable adults and lead for the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership. Previously a Home Office Advisor in relation to Ending Gang and Youth Violence, Geeta is also responsible for Food Safety; Commercial Health and Safety; Environmental Protection; Licensing and Trading Standards; Noise Nuisance and Illegal Tobacco, and Public Health Commissioning. She is Chair of the Rogue Landlords Board and Events Safety Advisory Group.

Geeta chairs the London Heads Of Community Safety Board and represents Local Authorities on a number of strategic regional and national Boards within this role. She is  Chair of London Assistant Directors Board for Youth Offending Services.  Geeta has previously worked as Head of Prevention, Head of Community Safety and Preventive Services and Youth Offending Services in the LB Barking and Dagenham. Prior to this, she managed a five borough consortia in east London delivering a alternative to custody programme for young offenders which followed the setting up of the first Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) in the country, at Newham Council. Geeta started her working career within the voluntary sector in Newham working as the lead programme officer delivering interventions to young offenders on court orders.

With a life long desire to study, Geeta is qualified in LLB (Hons) Law Degree, a Masters in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice Course (LPC) Solicitors Qualification, Professional Certificate in the management of Public Sector Services, Postgraduate Diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Certificate in Domestic Homicide Review Chair, Professional Licensing Practitioners Qualification (Institute of Licensing),  Certificate in Terrorism Studies. She has a love of art, animals, sport/extreme sports, fashion and interior design.

Believes “if you dream it, you can do it”

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble

Cabinet Member for Childrens Services, LB Hackney

After beginning her career in primary education in 2006, with a speciality in special educational needs, Anntoinette was elected as a ward councillor in 2010, becoming Cabinet Member for Children’s Services in Hackney in 2012. In addition to her responsibilities as lead member for children’s social care, education, and youth services, Anntoinette is also a member of the City and Hackney Health and Wellbeing Board, and the Local Government Association Children and Young People Board.

Sonia Khan

Head of Policy and Partnerships, LB Hackney

Sonia has led Hackney’s Policy Team since April 2011. She is responsible for strategic analysis and policy, equality and cohesion, partnerships, voluntary sector support and overview and scrutiny.  Sonia joined Hackney in 2009 as Head of Commissioning for the Local Strategic Partnership, responsible for commissioning innovative activity from an annual budget of £18m, and for embedding successful work into mainstream practice.  Sonia began her career in Hackney- based community arts organisation, Free Form, in 1996, and worked in a range of community development, education and creative settings between then and 2009; including working as Chief Executive of the charity Hackney Training and Employment Network for four years.  She has lived in Hackney since 2000.

Jake Ferguson

Chief Executive, Hackney CVS

Jake has led Hackney CVS since 2006 but has been with the organisation for 15 years. Hackney CVS is the biggest infrastructure support organisation in London with a turnover of £3m. Hackney CVS leads a range of successful consortia of local community and voluntary sector organisation to deliver projects which tackle issues such as: social isolation amongst older people (Connect Hackney), youth unemployment (Talentmatch) as well as reducing pressures on A&E and primary care through community based interventions for patients (One Hackney & City). Jake has been a member of Hackney’ s Local Strategic Partnership since its inception helping to shape how services are better tailored to meet the diverse needs of local residents. Hackney CVS has an excellent track record of co-producing strategies with the public sector, ensuring the voices of local communities are at the heart of decision making. More info can be found at www.hcvs.org.uk  In his spare time Jake has been a school governor and has toured the world with his band The Heliocentrics.

Deji Adeoshun

Youth Programmes Officer, LB Hackney CVS

Deji is a passionate youth worker and the youth programmes officer at Hackney CVS. He is responsible for overseeing the development of young people into youth leaders on three key programmes namely Stop and search, Talent Match and Improving outcomes for young black men. Deji expertise lays in ensuring that young people at the heart of decision making, and fostering relationships that aims to bring the state and young people together. In his spare time he manages his own football team.


Lin Hinnigan Presentation - YJB BAME Overrepresentation

Lin Hinnigan Supporting literature - YJB Key findings for BAME YP in London

LB Hackney Presentation- Improving outcomes for YBM

LB Hackney Supporting literature - Theory of change - Improving outcomes for YBM

LB Lewisham - Responding to the Young Review

See a summary of tweets from the event here.