Why is equity, diversity and inclusion in criminal justice important?
The CJA scrutinises criminal justice policies and practices for their discriminatory impact and calls for changes to improve outcomes for individuals with protected characteristics. Previous work has included warning that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will deepen racial inequality in the criminal justice system; advocating for a greater focus on the needs of Black, Asian and minority ethnic victims of crime; and exploring the effectiveness of independent custody visitors in monitoring race and gender equality in police custody.
For the criminal justice system to be fair and effective, criminal justice agencies must ensure all individuals have an equal opportunity to thrive, regardless of their age, race, sex, religion or any other protected characteristic. However, numerous landmark reviews have found that certain groups face poorer outcomes in the criminal justice system than their peers.
Public authorities, such as the government and the police, are required under the Public Sector Equality Duty to consider how policies or decisions affect people with protected characteristics. Under the duty, public authorities must have due regard to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Read more about our work on public equality duty below.
We work to remove systemic bias in several ways. We hold policy makers to account, ensuring they are meeting their requirements under the Public Sector Equality Duty. We advocate for policies and services to be co-designed with people from minoritised groups. And we call for greater racial diversity in the criminal justice workforce and promote more inclusive practices from sector employers.