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The Over Representation Of Black People In Uk Prisons

3366 words - 13 pages

The over-representation of black people in the UK prison population became an issue which needs to be addressed. The prison statistics shows that black people are over-represented and by analysing their population in the UK and a prison statistics it can be noticed that their number increases massively comparing to white and Asian people. The statistics focuses on adult male population, but by considering women and young black people, the evidences show that across all levels black people are over-represented. However, black people are not over-represented only in prison statistics, police practices shows that they are a main target for their actions such as stop and search under section 60 or when fighting in “war on drugs” even that their drug usage is lower than white people. Matthews (2009) and Sampson (1987) provide evidences that one of the reasons for over-representation is institutional racism within Criminal Justice system, police service as well as areas such as Council, education and housing. Newburn (2013) presents that there are specific crimes for which black people are more likely to commit as well as black people are less likely to plead guilty, including that often they leave in inner city cause that judges in those locations are more likely to give “heavier” sentences (Newburn 2013). Furthermore, turning point is given by Wacquant (2001) and his idea of hyperghettoization, he looks at the massive privatisation of prison and provide evidences that the prisons are turning into “ghettos” to keep uneducated, unskilled young black offenders in one place (Wacquant, 2001).
To outline and understand the problem of overrepresentation of black people in prison service in UK the starting point should be a statistics of ethnic minorities in prison. House of Common Library (2013) and the prison statistics collected by them showed that in June 2013 the total prison population contained 83,842 people. From the total number 13.2% were black people; white people are responsible for 73.8% and Asian for 7.9% (House of Common Library, 2013). By looking at the statistics it looks like white people are the majority and they are overrepresented. However, Index Mundi (2013) website which looks at the demographics profile of United Kingdom shows that black people represents only 2% of population (Index Mundi, 2013). Comparing prison statistics of black people to demographic population it shows that there are 7 times more black people per population in prison than white people (Ministry of Justice, 2008). Moreover, official prison statistics focuses on adult male population, to outline the issue, the focus should be given to young offenders too. In young offender institutions, secure children homes and secure training centres, there were 1,596 young offenders in 2012. The total population does not affect attention as it shows it is quite low, but when focus is given that out of total population 37% are from black minorities. Furthermore, between October...

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