Earning trust

Think tank: Social Market Foundation

Author(s): Aveek Bhattacharya

December 15, 2021

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at improving criminal justice outcomes for ethnic minorities.

This report from the UK think tank Social Market Foundation looks into the experiences of ethnic minority individuals in the criminal justice system. In this briefing, Dr Aveek Bhattacharya gets to the heart of a really important issue: how to build trust in the justice system and address racial disparities. Ethnic minorities are over-represented in the criminal justice system, and on some key measures, disparities are getting worse. One of the key drivers of the disparities is trust (or lack thereof) – the reluctance of ethnic minority defendants to trust the criminal justice system, but also the system’s failure to trust communities and defendants. Addressing the trust deficit could improve justice outcomes for ethnic minority Britons. The key recommendation is to allow accused parties to access out-of-court options without a guilty plea, given that ethnic minorities are less likely to expect to be dealt with fairly if they plead guilty.