The Over-representation of Black People in UK Prisons Essay

The Over-representation of Black People in UK Prisons Essay

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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 eth...

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...1_spmin0 [last accessed on 10th November]
The Justice Gap (2012) [online] “Privatising prisons a step too far”, Available at: [last accessed on 10th November]
Vice (2013) [online] “Are Britain prison turning into factories?”, Available at: [last accessed on 10th November]
Voice (2013) [online] “War on drugs”, Available at: [last accessed on 10th November]
Wacquant, L. (2001) “Deadly Symbiosis When Ghetto and Prison Meet and Mesh”, Journal of Punishment & Society, Vol. 3, No 1, January 2001, pp 95-133.
Women in Prison (2013) [online] “Statistics”, Available at: [last accessed on 10th November]

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