outh are often found to be socially and economically vulnerable and have higher risks of living diminished lives in the eyes of the advantaged as well as in their own eyes (Applebaum et al., 2010). The social and economic changes in the free-market economies have been cited as the main causes of social exclusion of minority youths, more so in the Western countries. In addition, weaknesses and inequalities in government service provision have made socially excluded people rather vulnerable in many ways (Coker, 2003). For instance, in England and Wales, the socioeconomically deprived and socially exclude ethnic minority youths have been found to be at higher risks of being crime victims or offenders given their propensity towards committing crimes (CRC, 2008a). This paper thus explores the reasons youths from ethnic minority groups are over-represented in the criminal justice system of Wales and England and the possible approaches with which this trend may be addressed.
Perhaps one of the most regrettable and enduring characteristic of the criminal justice systems is racial profiling and stereotyping of youths from minority ethnic groups (CRC, 2008b). Fortunately, there has been a considerable increase in the galvanisation of the link between minority ethnic groups and crime (University of Georgia, 2006). In worse cases, there have been so much racial stereotyping and crime profiling that black youths are referred to as ‘criminal predators’ (Silver, 1994). According to the Youth Justice Board (YJB), which reported that 1,822 young offenders were in custody in the 2010/2011 period, it is this profiling of minority youths that has subtly justified the over-representation of youths from minority ethnic groups and races in the criminal justice systems (BBC, 2011). Out of this population, minority ethnic youths constituted 39%, a 6% increase over the 2009/2010 period. However, the general figures of youth offenders dropped from 1977 of the 2009/2010 period (BBC,