There have been long-standing concerns about race and criminal justice since the late 1970s. This relates in particular to policing and prisons, where high profile events have led to action: Scarman 1981, Lawrence 1999, and Mubarek 2005. As recent LSE/Guardian research on the riots in 2011 has shown, stop and search remains just as much a source of friction between police and young people, particularly young black and Asian people, as it ever was.

Statistics over recent years have shown increasing differences in offending and sentencing among people who give their ethnicity as “mixed”. Reasons for this could be explored.

There are also some major gaps in research: no real in-depth authoritative work on sentencing and race has been done since Hood 1991; and the CPS’s prosecution work has rarely come under the spotlight. There are also gaps of knowledge about Parole Board decision making, particularly in cases of indeterminate sentences for public protection.

Group having hands together.

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