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More Zimbabwean children and young adults jailed in England and Wales

29 Mar 2018 at 09:36hrs | Views
The number of black people jailed in England and Wales is seven times larger than the amount they make up of the population.  There is greater disproportionality in the number of black people in prisons in the UK.

The proportion of black people in prison in England and Wales is higher than in the United States, a landmark report released by the Equality and Human Rights Commission reveals.

The irony of the matter is that the British laws make it difficult to discipline your child. As a result children grow up as wild as they could become. When they wonder away from their parents' homes they find more comfortable dwelling places in prison.

Of the five hundred Zimbabwean families interviewed in churches and parties eighty percent have a child or relative in prison. This means we have our children in prisons more than they are in schools.

The Daily Mirror of England reported that most African children end up in prison for the simple fact that they are black. Because their colour is different they stick out and on that basis they are more likely to be jailed for anything from loitering to murder. Racism while it is illegal it is practiced by institutions in a very subtle way.

The report, which aims to set out how to measure "fairness" in Britain, says that ethnic minorities are "substantially over-represented in the custodial system". It suggests many of those jailed have "mental health issues, learning disabilities, have been in care or experienced abuse".
 
Children are taken from their parents and placed in care, where they will be abused and sent to prison. Most Children who have been snatched from their parents are left to grow in a very spoilt life which cannot prepare them for tomorrow. The care homes for most black children are colleges were they will graduate into prisons.

Experts and politicians said over-representation of black men was a result of decades of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system and an overly punitive approach to penal affairs. Most Zimbabwean parents spoken to have said racism plays a great role.

Teachers discourage black children from going to Universities; they tell them that apprentice is better than university. They discourage many children from doing good courses and point them to Arts and Politics.

"People will be and should be shocked by this data," said Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust. "We have a tendency to say we are better than the US, but we have not got prison right."

Lyon said that although there had been "numerous efforts to address racism in the prison system … we have yet to get a better relationship between justice authorities and black communities. Instead we have ended up with mistrust breeding mistrust."

Evidence of this damaged relationship can be found in the commission's report. On the streets, black people were subjected to what the report describes as an "excess" of 145,000 stop and searches in 2017. It notes that black people constitute less than 3% of the population, yet made up 15% of people stopped by police. A policeman is likely going to label a black person a gangster than a white person. Zimbabwean children find themselves in a fix, they normally prefer to be among themselves, and as a result they become a targeted group. It natural that if you get in class you will chose a chair next to black person. Said Mark a sixteen year old student. He narrated how his brother was singled out for theft. He was excluded from school and the police were called on him. Six weeks later the real thief was caught, it was a white boy. His brother was readmitted but already he had been convicted for that theft. The college asked him to clear the conviction before he starts lessons. His case is now in the courts for character defamation. It is very hard to raise your children in a foreign land. You need the help of the authorities, but the authorities target your children.

The commission found that five times more black people than white people per head of population in England and Wales are imprisoned. The ethnic minority prison population has doubled in a decade - from 11,332 in 1998 to 22,421 in 2008. Over a similar period, the overall number of prisoners rose by less than two thirds. The commission says that the total number of people behind bars accelerated in the last decade despite "a similar number of crimes being reported to the police as in the early 1990s … the volume of indictable offences has fallen over this time". This shows that for the similar crimes a black man has a jail term while his white counterpart has freedom. The opposition Labour party accepted the anomalies. Some on the left of the Labour party blame its policies while in power. Diane Abbott, who raised the alarm over the growing numbers of jailed black men as a backbencher, said she "very much regretted that the last Labour government swallowed [former home secretary] Michael Howard's line that 'prison works'." "There was never a serious examination of the consequences of locking up a generation of young black men. The result is there are some prisons in the south east which are now virtually all black. Many are converting to Islam. "The problems may start at school. The commission points out those black children are three times as likely to be permanently excluded from education for the same offence a white child gets away with.
The black children grow up marked and in a criminalised community. The Zimbabwean parents have made serious MISTAKE OF WANTING TO BECOME English when they are not. They have no culture to impart to their children and they have no language to share with their children.

"The question is how you break the cycle when young men experience custody. Three quarters simply re-offend. We have to intervene with families more effectively to stop kids going to prison. That means looking at school exclusions. You need to deal with issues like mental health and substance abuse. It is not enough to throw our hands in the air."

The commission also warns of the rising numbers of women in jails. It says that the "number of women prisoners has nearly doubled since 1995 in England and Wales, and since 2000 in Scotland - currently around 5% of prisoners are women".

The Ministry of Justice said that the government would not comment on individual portions of the report.
Young black people are nine times more likely to be locked up in England and Wales than young white people, according to Ministry of Justice analysis.

The official exploratory study also shows that young black people are more likely to be identified with "gang concerns" and be considered a risk to others when being sentenced than any other ethnic group. The report, commissioned by Downing Street and carried out by the Labour MP David Lammy included strong recommendations for action.

The Lammy review was given a political boost by Theresa May when she pledged to fight racial injustice during a speech on the steps of No 10 after she became prime minister. "If you're black, you're treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you're white," she said.

An interim report by Lammy last November confirmed that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds were more likely to be jailed for some crimes than those who were white. It revealed ethnic disparities at many stages of the criminal process, including arrest, charging, prosecution and imprisonment. This report spells fear in every right thinking Zimbabwean parent.

The saddest situation is that after the children are trained to be criminals they are deported back to Zimbabwe.

However, the MoJ (Ministry Of Justice) analysis shows that the problem is more acute for young black people. While black people are four times more likely to be in prison than white people, the incarceration rate rises to nine times more likely for those under the age of 18.

About nine in every 10,000 young black people in the general population were locked up in young offender institutions, secure training centres or secure children's homes in England and Wales in 2015-16. This compared with one in every 10,000 of those from white ethnic backgrounds, four in every 10,000 of those from mixed ethnic backgrounds, and two in every 10,000 of those from backgrounds classified as "Asian and other". the painful thing is that the Zimbabweans are now overtaking the Caribbean and the Nigerians in prisons.

The report also shows that while the overall numbers of young people aged 10-17 in the daily youth custody population has fallen sharply in recent years, from 7,096 in 2005-06 to 924 in June this year, the number from BAME backgrounds has fallen at a slower rate than those who are white.

The report said this meant their share of the custodial population has increased over the past decade. The latest figures show that 237 young black people were sentenced to youth custody in 2016 out of a total of 1,372 young people. The number of young white people imprisoned was 674 in the same period.

"The analysis in this report indicates that the high proportion of young black people in custody is likely to be driven by a number of factors such as arrest rates, custodial sentencing at the magistrates court, and the fact that they have spent longer in the custodial estate on average than other groups in the past five years," it concludes.

A leading prison expert has given the fascinating reason why black people are given longer sentences than white people. Peter Dawson, the Director of the Prison Reform Trust, was discussing David Lammy's report into how the criminal justice system has a racial bias.

Mr Lammy's report states that young black people are nine times more likely to be in custody than their white counterparts.

He revealed that discretionary decisions in the courts tend to go narrowly in favour to white people - and that leads to them making decisions in the judicial process that ends up with them getting longer sentences.

Mr Dawson told LBC: "It's all the touch and go decisions. He gives really good examples where you have an instinctive decision. They are difficult.

"If every time you have that discretionary decision, it just goes in favour of the white and just goes against the black, then at the end of the process, you have a quarter of the prison population made up of people from ethnic minorities.

"The system is much more lenient to people who plead guilty earlier on, much more lenient.
"Juries actually are colour-blind. There's no evidence of discrimination in the decisions the juries take.
"So if you have to make the decision 'Do I plead guilty or do I go to the jury?', if you're black, then going to the jury may seem like the more sensible option.

"But if you're guilty, that means that you're going to spend a third longer in prison."

Unfortunately by the time of writing this Article our own Zimbabwean embassy refused to comment. The website is down or neglected, the phones were answered but help was as scarce as the former first lady on TV these days.

vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk



Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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