Ethnic minority offenders are jailed for longer

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Oct 11, 2017
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The cabinet discusses the government race audit

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Black and other ethnic minority offenders are more likely to be sentenced to immediate custody than white offenders, and for longer terms of imprisonment, the government’s race audit report finds.

White offenders in all age groups were the least likely to receive an immediate custodial sentence. Of juvenile and adult offenders, Asians were most likely to receive an immediate custodial sentence (35 per cent) while other ethnic groups ranged from 31 to 33 per cent. With young adults, those from a mixed ethnic background had the highest custody rate at slightly more than 30 per cent.

White offenders consistently received the shortest average jail term, 18 months, compared with 24 and 25 months for black and Asian offenders, respectively.  

Among juvenile offenders, Asians received the longest average term at 21 months, followed by mixed ethnicity offenders at 20 months. For white juvenile offenders the average jail term was 14 months.  

The report, which was published yesterday, found that black defendants in the crown court, particularly males, were more likely to be remanded in custody than white or Asians. 

There are also differences in the use of youth cautions, whose overall use has fallen substantially since 2005-06 while the proportion given to ethnic minority groups has remained broadly similar.

Conviction rates as a proportion of the number of defendants prosecuted have risen for all ethnic groups since 2009 but were lower for black defendants: white defendants have the highest rate at 86 per cent, while the rate for all other ethnic groups was 81 per cent.

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