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Making sure Black lives matter in the criminal justice system

Practical steps towards change

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has reignited long-overdue discussions in the UK about the appalling levels discrimination in our criminal justice system.

In 2020, almost three years on from David Lammy’s report and over 20 years on from the Macpherson report, the proportion of children from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds in prison is at its highest ever recorded levels.

The Howard League is acutely aware from its specialist legal service for children and young people in prison that it is time to work together to see what practical steps lawyers and practitioners in the system can take to change outcomes in the system.

In association with Black Protest Legal and an expert advisory board, the Howard League is developing a guide for anti-racist lawyers.

The guide will aim to help practitioners to: educate themselves; ask the right questions; gather the right information and make representations to change outcomes for Black people in the criminal justice system.

Advisory Board 

  • Kate Aubrey-Johnson, Author and Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
  • Dr. Alexandra Cox, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Essex
  • Cecilia Goodwin, Consultant solicitor, Stephensons Solicitors LLP
  • Garry Green, Barrister at Doughty Street Chambers
  • Professor William Lez Henry, Professor of Criminology and Sociology, School of Human and Social Sciences, University of West London
  • Abimbola Johnson, Barrister at 25 Bedford Row
  • Laetitia De Klerck, Registered Intermediary
  • Patrice Lawrence, Award-winning writer for children and young people
  • Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah, Assistant Professor of criminal law and criminal evidence at the LSE’
  • Dr Alpa Parmar, Academic at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford and academic member of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales
  • Anne Reyersbach, magistrate (youth and adult court), former primary school Headteacher, former Policy Manager for both School-Home Support and Children England. Cat owner, Feminist.
  • Naima Sakande, Women’s Justice Advocate, APPEAL and Vice-Chair, Women in Prison
  • Aika Stephenson, Solicitor and founder of Just for Kids Law
  • Ife Thompson, Community-based activist, writer, barrister and the founder of BLAM UK (Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health) and Black Protest Legal Support
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