Sunday, March 30, 2008

Crime: Muslims almost four times more likely to be jailed in U.K.

Muslims are nearly four times more likely to be in jail in England and Wales compared with the rest of the population, according to the latest official figures.

In a written parliamentary reply, Justice Secretary Jack Straw said that at the end of June 2006 there were 8,243 prisoners declaring themselves as Muslim out of a total prison population of 77,982 at the time.

The number represents 11 percent of all prisoners in contrast to Muslims being just 3 percent of the country's population at the last census in 2001, when some 1.5 million people declared themselves as Muslim.

The figures show a very high percentage of the Muslims are jail are foreign nationals, some 3,285 of the prisoners, equivalent to 40 percent.

Classified into groups, 3,652 were classified as Asian or Asian British and 2,660 as Black or Black British. Only 1,167 were classified as White.

Among the foreign nationals, the highest number was 416 from Pakistan, followed by 322 from Somalia, 259 from Iraq, 221 from Turkey, 185 from Nigeria, 179 each from Bangladesh and Nigeria and 163 from Jamaica.

Straw suggested that the higher number of Muslims in prison may partly reflect the age profile of prisoners, with most aged between 18 and 34. Asians of this age made up 31 percent of the total, while the percentage among whites was 22 percent.