Working with ethnic diversity

Bankole Cole

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Available research evidence indicates that minority ethnic people in the UK are disproportionately represented in the crime figures and are more likely to be treated less favourably than their white counterparts in the criminal justice system. The evidence suggests that criminal justice decisions are sometimes influenced by racist stereotypes and prejudice (see Cook and Hudson 1993; Bowling and Phillips 2002). In addition, there is now a growing concern about discriminatory practice and unfair treatment of minority ethnic offenders post-sentence, for example in prisons, young offender institutions or while on community punishments (see, for example, Calverley et al. 2004). This chapter considers how ethnic diversity is addressed in offender management. It will examine what evidence there is of a true understanding of 'race' issues in the current approaches to the assessment of criminogenic risks and needs. The chapter also explores whether the current approaches to working with minority ethnic offenders truly addresses the causes of black and minority ethnic offenders offending behaviour. Discussions in the chapter will be centred on the following issues: - the capacity of assessment tools to predict the criminogenic risks and needs of offenders from minority ethnic backgrounds; - how well work with minority ethic offenders is tailored to meet the needs and circumstances of minority ethnic offenders; - the competence of practitioners working with offenders from minority ethnic backgrounds; - the limitations of offender programmes in addressing the offending behaviour of minority ethnic offenders. Since the Macpherson Report (1999) and the publication of the Race Relations Amendments Act 2000 there has been a considerable political move in the UK to address diversity issues in criminal justice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAddressing Offending Behaviour: Content, practice and values
EditorsSimon Green, Elizabeth Lancaster, Simon Feasey
Place of PublicationCullompton, Devon
Number of pages460
ISBN (Print)978-1843922438
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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