Scandal of bigotry in prison system
AMID the confusing cacophony of neverending news and opinion concerning Brexit, you might have missed the publication of a damning report exposing the malignant rot of deeply embedded racist bigotry within Britain’s justice system.
An independent review ordered by David Cameron to examine the treatment and outcomes of black and minority ethnic people in the justice system, chaired by David Lammy MP, has unearthed an inequitable scandal of overrepresentation within the prison population of England and Wales.
The review noted that black and minority ethnic (BAME) men and women make up just 14% of the general population, and yet constitute one in four prisoners – a more disproportionate statistic than even the United States.
It also says BAME youth make up more than 40% of young people in custody.
Black boys are ten times more likely to be arrested for drug offences than white boys, even when prior character is taken into account; the total economic cost of over-representation in the justice system is estimated to exceed £309m per annum.
If our prison population represented the actual demography of England and Wales, it would translate into 9,000 fewer prisoners.
Mr Lammy’s recommendations include a “race-blind” approach to processing cases (albeit with scant substantive detail), reviewing gang-related prosecutions, a “rate-your-judge” system (again lacking explicit detail), sealing criminal records, “positive discrimination” in prison and judiciary recruitment.
None of these ideas would provide significant improvement to the current situation; the root cause of institutional racism is capitalist hegemony, the very same corrupt system which was bailed out by taxpayers and is now foisting the repellent swindle of austerity measures upon ordinary people to pay for the obscene excesses of super-rich bosses.
A united front of organised resistance will send these jackals a message that we won’t silently tolerate such obscene injustice any longer. Daniel Pitt Mountain Ash