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Black boys make up 40% of young prison population

JAIL: Number of young black men in British jails on the rise, says new report

BLACK BOYS account for nearly 40 per cent of the prison population of young people in England and Wales, a new report shows.

The numbers of of black and ethnic minority men in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) are said to have risen from 23 per cent in 2006 to 39 per cent in 2010.

The report, Children and Young People in Custody by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and Youth Justice Board, also notes an increasing proportion of young Muslims being incarcerated. The numbers of individuals from this group are up from 13 per cent last year to 16 per cent this year.

However, the total population of the young people is said to have fallen from 1,977 in March 2010 to 1,822 this March - five months before the London riots in August.

"This report has highlighted some deterioration in children and young people's experience of custody. Despite the falling numbers, this population has well-defined vulnerability and increasing numbers within minority groups. The need, therefore, to provide these people with support during their time in custody and in preparation for their release is as great as ever," chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick said.

"Between 2007 and 2011 there was a 37 per cent reduction in white children in custody, compared to a 16 per cent reduction in black and ethnic minority children," the report states.

The report, however, does not discuss the reasons why black boys make up a larger proportion of the youth jail population.

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