My PhD research focuses on racial and ethnic disparities in the sentencing of child offenders. There has been a 73% decrease in the youth custody population between 2007 and 2020, however, during this same time the percentage of Black and minority ethnic incarcerated children has increased from 27% in 2007 to 51% in 2020 (Ministry of Justice Statistics, 2021). Discrimination in the different Youth Justice processes, such as sentencing, can be one of the causes of these increased disparities. This thesis sets out to identify the factors that result in sentencing disparities for Black and minority ethnic children and will examine if unwarranted disparities that are indicative of discrimination continue to exist after controlling for relevant factors. It hopes to challenge the no-discrimination thesis that posits that discrimination exists because there is no control for relevant legal variables. The thesis will be using a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative interviews with different Youth Justice practitioners, such as barristers and magistrates, with quantitative analysis. Using a mixed-methods approach will allow me to better examine the issue of discrimination in sentencing; interviews will help identify the omitted relevant variables that influence sentencing, the underlying mechanisms that result in disparities and the different forms discrimination manifests itself. My methodology will go beyond the current sentencing studies, which at best control for only a few legal factors, and which focus exclusively on quantitative analyses when examining discrimination in sentencing.
My research interests are racism, classism and sexism in the Criminal Justice System, the Youth Justice System and abolitionism.
- MPhil Criminological Research (Cambridge University, 2020)
- LLB Politics, Philosophy and Law (King's College London, 2019)
Research groups and institutes
- Centre for Criminal Justice Studies