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Race, Probation and Inspections (From Race and Probation, P 41-57, 2006, Sam Lewis, Peter Raynor, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-213631)

NCJ Number
Rod Morgan
Date Published
17 pages
Following an overview of research evidence on racial discrimination in the British criminal justice system in general, this chapter reviews research on race-related issues in the performance of the Probation Service.
The Chief Inspector's study of the quality of presentence reports prepared by the Probation Service found that the assessments of the context of the offense and the background of the defendant was less thorough in the presentence reports for Blacks than for Whites. Sixteen percent of the presentence reports on Blacks and 11 percent of the reports on Asians were judged to reinforce stereotypical attitudes about race and ethnicity. Regarding minority probation staff, the Chief Inspector's report indicated a significant percentage felt isolated at work and discriminated against in promotions. Many also reported experiencing racism from the offenders they supervised, colleagues, and members of related agencies. Research evidence shows that ethnic minorities are disproportionately drawn into the criminal justice system through a greater likelihood of being reported for crimes and of being arrested by police. The overrepresentation of minorities in the criminal justice system increases at each decisionmaking stage, reaching its peak in Crown Court proceedings and the prison system, with Blacks having the highest overrepresentation. Regarding racial issues in the Probation Service, in May 1999 the Chief Inspector of Probation conducted an inspection intended to determine the extent to which probation services promote and achieve racial equality in employment practices and work with minority offenders. 50 references