Garden Court barristers join the JUSTICE Working Party on Racial Disparity in Youth Justice

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Maya Sikand, Kate Aubrey-Johnson and Danielle Manson of Garden Court have joined the JUSTICE Working Party, 'Racial Disparity in Youth Justice'.

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The working party will examine the causes of the BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) disproportionality in the Youth Justice System of England and Wales. JUSTICE said:

"At most stages of the youth justice system – from arrest to custody – the proportion of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) young people is higher than the proportion of white young people. This disproportionality can be seen at its starkest in the youth custodial estate, where the BAME population is 51%, despite being 18% of the 10-17 year old population.

The rise in proportion of BAME young people in the youth secure estate (YSE) has coincided with a drop in the number of young people within the YSE. The under-18 secure population peaked in October 2002, with the number of incarcerated young people at 3,200. Since then the number of young people within the YSE has gradually declined, with only 835 being held in November 2018. The majority of this decline is a result of a reduction in white young people being held in the secure estate.

This pattern – a reduction in the total number of young people at each stage of the youth justice system being driven primarily by a reduction of white young people – is reflected in other stages of the youth justice system. However, the continuing presence of BAME young people in the YJS is causing increasing racial disparities.

JUSTICE has convened a Working Party to explore the reasons why disproportionality is occurring in the youth justice system, with a view to making positive recommendations for change and reducing racial disparities in the youth justice system."

More information about the working party and a full list of the members can be viewed on the JUSTICE website

Maya Sikand is a member of the Garden Court Public Law, Civil Liberties and Criminal Appeals Teams.

Kate Aubrey-Johnson is a member of the Garden Court Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Criminal Appeals and Mediation Teams. 

Danielle Manson is a member of the Garden Court Criminal Defence and Criminal Appeals Teams. 

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