Nearly half of boys in young offenders institutes are black or ethnic minority

New report finds highest rate since 2001


Nearly half of boys in young offender institutions are of a black or ethnic minority background, says a prisons watchdog, the highest rate in over a decade.

A new report out today finds 47 per cent of boys in these institutions for the year 2015/16 identify as black or minority ethnic, a level not reached since 2001.

The report, commissioned by the government’s Youth Justice Board, which looks at 12 to 18-year-olds in custody, also found 46 per cent reported feeling unsafe in custody at some point, while only 16 per cent had a job in their institution, down from 28 per cent the year before (2014/15).

As of April there were 906 under-18s in custody in England and Wales.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said:

“It is shameful that the government spends millions on locking up children yet they are unsafe inside and lack support before and after custody. The prisons are a disgrace and should be closed.

Part of the problem is that prisons are the end of a torrent and it is the courts that must look to their disproportionate use of custody for BAME (Black and minority ethnic) children.”

Colin Allars, chief executive of the Youth Justice Board, said:

“Parts of this report are uncomfortable to read – trends around safety are concerning.

We will use these findings to support our work with providers of custodial services to address the issues children and young people are telling us about.”

More than a third (37 per cent) of boys in these institutions have been through the local authority care system, while a fifth (22 per cent) were Muslim, 19 per cent had a disability and seven per cent were of a Gypsy, Romany or Traveller background.

The report said these groups ‘continued to be disproportionately over-represented’ compared to the general population.

Survey findings for secure training centres, another type of custodial facility for children, showed 41 per cent identify as black or ethnic minority.

Chief inspector of prisons Peter Clarke said:

“Over the past decade the number of children in custody has fallen by some 66 per cent, but the perceptions of those that remain leave us with some worrying and difficult issues to consider.

There are some particularly troubling findings in the areas of disproportionate over-representation (in terms of the characteristics of the children now being held in custody), safety, victimisation, respect and training.”

He added: ‘I hope these findings are taken seriously by those charged with developing and improving policy.’

See: London hosts private security trade fair disguised as a social justice forum

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4 Responses to “Nearly half of boys in young offenders institutes are black or ethnic minority”

  1. Mike Stallard

    The people whom you mention are human beings. Every single one of them.
    And who is to say that a Liberal, right on, politically correct English Society is the right place for them?

    Quite a lot of them come from backgrounds which are religiously very different from the traditional English one. It is unreasonable of you to expect that they will all conform to liberal standards of behaviour: they have their own standards and, in adolescence, their own ways of rebelling.
    Quite a lot of them come from societies where crime is completely normal and even seen as a virtue.
    Several of them come from what anyone would call a broken home.

    If this were just a British phenomenon, it would be serious. It is not. I am afraid this is a world wide thing. But I do not expect anyone else to admit this.

  2. Mick

    Ah! I see.

    This is the usual white privilege nonsense. Judges are ‘racist’ because they have the nerve to sentence criminals in the appropriate manner. Police are also racist because a disproportionate number of criminals are ethnic minority.

    I see. That is why the jails are full. Melanin obsession. Well, the Left are experts there!

    Labour breaking a trend to build no fresh prisons from 1997 was no factor, I take it. And then when Jack Straw had the nerve to want to rush-build the odd superprison – just to handle the load – idiots like LFF devotees bitched about the poor little criminals. They’re only caged like animals, mate! Of COURSE they will misbehave!

    Well they certainly didn’t re-offend at a rate of 65% put on community service instead, did they Left? Oh, they did, didn’t they Left.

    One reason we voted Tory.

  3. Imran Khan

    African Caribbean young men commit more crimes than their equivalents in other ethnic groups. It’s as easy as that.

  4. Jimmy Glesga

    During the fifties and sixties it was the white boys in the YOI. But it is rascist now since the decendents of mass immigration have joined the whities in prison.

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