The Prison Reform Trust, as part of a coalition of criminal justice and race equality organisations, has written to the Prime Minster warning that the government’s plans for policing and sentencing will further entrench racial inequality in the criminal justice system.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill entered parliament last week, and will be debated by ministers on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 March. It contains a number of proposals which the government has conceded will have a disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in equality assessments.

The government justifies this inequality as "a proportionate means of achieving the legitimate aim of protecting the public." Yet in another official document, the government admits there is "limited evidence that the combined set of measures will deter offenders long term or reduce overall crime."

The coalition calls for the government to withdraw the elements of the Bill it concedes will increase racial inequality and launch a proper public consultation, making the necessary changes to avoid discrimination.

The organisations who coordinated the open letter are: Agenda, Barrow Cadbury Trust, the Criminal Justice Alliance, EQUAL, Clinks, Leaders Unlocked, the Prison Reform Trust, Race on the Agenda, the Alliance for Youth Justice and the Zahid Mubarek Trust.

Click here to download a copy of the open letter.