Summary

Our work across the Criminal Justice Sector aims to increase the awareness of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people’s needs at all stages of the justice system. We aim to highlight the need for improved alternative to custody models, the higher usage of diversion schemes, and for those in custody, improved support in prisons.

We conduct research and advocacy in regard to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people in the criminal justice system. To raise awareness of the unequal outcomes and disproportionate representation across the CJS we take several approaches internally, and work with stakeholders and government departments to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Produce a strong evidence base outlining main issues for GRT in the criminal justice system
  • Highlight the need for Roma to be recorded in HMPPS and MoJ ethnicity data
  • Demand reform to overcome inequality in the justice system.
  • Campaign to reduce the disproportionate representation of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Men, Women and Youth in the justice system.
  • Support Government departments to work toward suitable interventions and toolkits to aid long-term rehabilitation for GRT in the criminal justice system
  • Promote the increased inclusion and visibility G&T people’s experiences in research and reports by the third sector and government
  • Advocate for improved processes in data collection to enable consistent and routine ethnic monitoring across the entire CJS.
  • Create a strong network of other CJS organisations and professionals to work with us on our campaigns and highlight the need to include Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people’s experiences of inequality in the justice system.

Our Areas of Work

Our recent areas of focus to date have been highlighting the intersectional barriers Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Women face in the Criminal Justice system. The outcome of this was a report, that focused on the intersectional needs of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller women throughout all stages of the justice system. The report made 12 recommendations on how sentencing, custody and rehabilitation can improve to better support these Women.

We have also produced a range of briefings looking into Gypsy, Roma and Traveller experiences of custody, covering Mental Health, Education in Prison, the Use of Force and a number of reports that focus on youth justice and GRT youth’s experiences of the justice system. This has included our report Overlooked and Overrepresented (2016) and a number of briefings that focus on the needs of GRT youth.

Upcoming Projects

We have several upcoming projects in this area, including a 2021 update of Overlooked and Overrepresented that will update the data and reflect on what change has happened over a 5-year period. We also have a project that will highlight how the School to Prison pipeline impacts Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people. This will bring together our extensive knowledge from years of campaigning for reform in the education system to improve

equality of opportunity, reduce exclusions and highlight discriminatory practices, together with the knowledge we have on the youth justice system. This report will highlight the key issues, and importantly take a solution-based approach to asking for change in the education system, to address the disproportionality we see in the Youth Justice system

Throughout this project, we will be providing webinars to help educate and advocate on how the barriers facing Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people in the justice system can be removed, and what steps can be taken to improve the outcomes of those in contact with the justice system