The proportion of children from ethnic minorities in custody is increasing, according to figures released by the Youth Justice Board.
Analysis of the YJB figures by the Howard League for Penal Reform revealed a 30% reduction in the number of white children in prison between January 2006 and August 2010, but just a 9% reduction in the number of children from ethnic minorities in jail.
There has been an overall reduction of 22% in the number of under-18s in custody in England and Wales, but the League is concerned that black and minority ethnic children remain disproportionately represented in custody.
Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Black children are already over-represented in the criminal justice system and we must address this imbalance.”
A recent report by the Howard League found that of almost 300 requests for legal help from young people in custody, 80% of those struggling to access legal advice were from ethnic minority backgrounds.
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