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MoJ report praises “significant” Levelling the Playing Field project

Levelling the Playing Field, our joint project with the Youth Justice Board, has been highlighted as a “significant action” in a new Ministry of Justice report into tackling racial disparity in the criminal justice system.

The report is a response to the Lammy Review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in criminal justice – and contains many of the key messages about role models, trust and representation that underpin our new £1.7m nationwide sport-based programme.

As well as being highlighted in the report’s foreword by Rt Hon Robert Buckland MP, Lord Chancellor & Secretary of State for Justice, Levelling the Playing Field is also listed in an extensive overview of the progress achieved so far by the MoJ and its key partners in tackling the over-representation of ethnic minorities in the Criminal Justice System.

The report notes that black children were four times more likely to be arrested than white children during the year ending March 2019, and that on average 49% of children in custody were from a BAME background during the same period (compared to 45% the previous year).

“It is precisely this sort of disproportionality we are working to challenge through Levelling the Playing Field,” said Project Manager Rudro Sen.

“Receiving such strong advocacy from the Government in this report strengthens our determination to make a real impact on the lives of the 11,200 BAME children we’ll be working with across the country – and our hope that the approach we take will support policy discussions in the future.”

Levelling the Playing Field will work with stakeholders and delivery partners in four target areas – London, Gwent, South Yorkshire and the West Midlands – using sport to engage and improve life outcomes for BAME children aged 10-17.

Funded in large part by a record £1million grant from the London Marathon Charitable Trust, the project will work alongside key partners to identify, train and support local organisations to better engage with criminal justice agencies and increase BAME engagement. The project will also support the development of local intensive sport-based mentoring programmes for children involved with the Criminal Justice System.

The project’s long-term aims are not only to increase BAME participation in sport, but to foster more active partnerships between sport and criminal justice agencies, advance youth justice policy to support a reduction in disproportionality in the youth justice system and develop an effective model that is fit for expansion across England and Wales.

To read the MoJ report: Tackling Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System: 2020 Update please download it below.

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