Local Church Petitions Prime Minister: Launch Inquiry into Black over-representation in British Prisons

A local church that is located within a stone’s throw of HM Prison Birmingham, formerly Winson Green Prison, has written to Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to launch an Inquiry into the mass incarceration of Black British young people of African and Caribbean descent. The petition which has been signed by over 150 congregants says:  
‘We the undersigned, being members and friends of the Church of God of Prophecy, Winson Green, Birmingham B18 7DL, call upon our Prime Minister to hold an Inquiry into why such a disproportionate number of young people, particularly young black men, are in Prison in Britain. We understand that young black British men are up to five times more likely than white to be in prison’.
The congregation was responding to a sermon that asked, ‘Why are so many young black men in prison, and what can the church do’.  The sermon highlighted the startling statistics that whilst African and Caribbean people in Britain represent approximately 3% of the population, their proportion of the prison population varies generally between 13% and 22%, with some prisons in the south east being almost entirely black, as Diane Abbott MP, is reported to have said.
The church awaits a reply from the Prime Minister.
1) The Church of God of Prophecy in Britain is part of an international network of Pentecostal churches. This year it celebrates its 60th anniversary in Britain as one of the oldest Black-led churches in the country.
2) Contact: Deseta Davis on 0121 551 3919 or Email cogopaberdeenst@aol.com
Story from National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF) newsletter, issue 5 2013

About israelolofinjana

Rev Israel Oluwole Olofinjana is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and has pastored Crofton Park Baptist Church (2007-2011) and Catford Community Church (2011-2013). He is currently the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a multicultural church in south east London. He is Nigerian coming from a Pentecostal background. He holds a BA (Hons) in Religious Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and MTh from Carolina University of Theology (CUT). Israel is the editor of “Turning the Tables on Mission: Stories of Christians from the Global South in the UK” and author of “Reverse in Ministry and Missions: Africans in the Dark Continent of Europe” and “20 Pentecostal Pioneers in Nigeria” He has spoken in a number of conferences regarding reverse mission and Black Majority Churches (BMCs) and has also contributed to academic journals and Christian magazines on the subject of Black Majority Churches (BMC) in Britain. He is currently co-opted as a member of the Baptist Union Council. Israel is also one of the Directors of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World an initiative design to train and equip pastors and missionaries from the South. He is a member of the Global Connections council. When he is not preaching or writing he is playing with Lego! He is happily married to Lucy who works as an administrator and research co-ordinator for the Evangelical Alliance. She is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), earning a BA in Social Anthropology and International Development. Lucy loves baking and watching movies!
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2 Responses to Local Church Petitions Prime Minister: Launch Inquiry into Black over-representation in British Prisons

  1. Stats are interesting and can reflect almost any agenda. All the ethnic minority groups in GB do not amount to 10% of our populous in UK. When we consider black young people from African descendants this figure is just over 1 million living in Greater London. Therefore, higher percentage black prison populous will be reflected in these areas.

    The 20 years experience of teaching (11-19 ages) in secular and faith secondary schools in SE London has given me insights into achievement levels of ethnicity groups. The stats identify Afro-Caribbean boys as under achievers. However, my personal teaching experience and results have proved raised academic levels among this group. This has been achieved through academic and pastoral counselling. Positive black role models have supported aspiration, personal identity, self-esteem and academic excellence. Education, education and education the keys to breaking the cycle of crime, drugs, gang culture and unemployment.

    Michael Lovejoy

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