Policy paper

Tackling racial disparity in the criminal justice system: 2018

Update on government’s progress tackling disparities, including progress in response to the Lammy Review.



This report provides an overview of the achievements and work undertaken by the Ministry of Justice and partners in the criminal justice system (CJS) to tackle racial disparities.

When the government responded in December 2017 to David Lammy MP’s independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in CJS, we committed to embedding a programme of work to address racial disparity within CJS. This report shows how we have driven that work forward so far in 2018 – both across the 35 recommendations in David Lammy MP’s review and in areas where we have sought to go above and beyond those recommendations.

There is an undeniable over-representation of ethnic minorities within CJS which we are determined to challenge and change. For the Criminal Justice System to be viewed as effective and fair it needs the trust, confidence and engagement of citizens from all communities.

Our update highlights progress across different parts of CJS, from the early stages of the system to court, prison and probation. It also explores cross-cutting work on areas such as data. The update sets out next steps and our continued commitment to progress in this area.

A recent update on progress is available on GOV.UK.

Published 11 October 2018
Last updated 11 February 2020 + show all updates
  1. Link to 2020 update publication added.

  2. First published.