Human Rights and the issue of over-representation: Criminal Justice v. Racial Justice report
The Runnymede Trust have published a new report entitled ‘Criminal Justice v. Racial Justice; Minority ethnic overrepresentation in the criminal justice system’. The report includes a number of papers which address the scope of racial inequality in the criminal justice system as well as the range of solutions available to address this problem.
Included in this report is a paper written by Dr Theo Gavrielides, IARS’ Director and Founder, entitled ‘Using the human rights framework to drive criminal justice public services: Addressing the issue of overrepresentation’. The paper focuses on the potential of human rights values and legislation for improving criminal justice public services and as a result addressing the problem of overrepresentation.
A case study of IARS is used in the paper to demonstrate the value Human Rights Education (HRE) in promoting a human rights framework to tackle the problem of overrepresentation. The case study explores IARS’ HRE model of providing face-to-face training, on line material and peer mentoring and support around HRE issues in order to empower young people to understand and better manage their relationships with the criminal justice system. By providing young people with the language and principles of human rights, combined with the opportunity to examine case studies such as how a police officer conducts stop and search and bringing young people into contact with criminal justice system professionals, stereotypes are broken down and young people remain engaged and interested in the possibilities of their new skills and knowledge.