As many as 51 per cent of male young offenders in jail come from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, a prison watchdog has said – the highest-ever in the UK.
The number of BME boys depended on the facility, ranging from 21 per cent at West Yorkshire’s Keppel Unit to almost three quarters (71 per cent) at Feltham in South-West London.
The HM Inspectorate of Prisons report studied the perception of children aged 12-18 in young offenders’ institutes or secure training centres between 2017-18.
Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said the report gives an insight into the practice of youth courts.
She added: “For the first time, more than half of boys in prison identify as being from a black or minority ethnic background. It is disturbing that disproportionality is growing.”
Nearly 42 per cent of children in secure training centres identified as being from a BME background.