Race and the Criminal Justice System

This is the first report from the T2A (Transition to Adulthood) Young Adult Advisory Group – an innovative project giving young adults a voice on the criminal justice system. The project was supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

The T2A Young Adult Advisory Group chose Race and Criminal Justice as their first priority. This Group chose this priority because they felt passionate about this issue and because it tied in to a number of current national developments, such as the Lammy Review and the Young Review.

The project report details the findings from peer-to-peer research carried with 90 young adults across the country – including peer interviews in prisons, focus groups with Youth Offending Teams, homeless organisations and community groups.

The Group’s aims were to:

Gather personal testimonies from BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) young adults of their experiences of policing and criminal justice.

Understand whether, and how, participants feel their racial, ethnic and religious identity affected these experiences.

Explore participants’ views on trust in the CJS.

Involve participants in the development of solutions for policy makers.



"We’ve been involved in peer engagement work with Leaders Unlocked. The young leaders we worked with engaged with over 100 service users in custody. We have been so impressed with the work. We are engaging with the young adults as colleagues, and the fact that they are former service users is almost secondary. The most important thing is the high quality work they are delivering."