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Ethnic differences in prisoners: 1: Criminality and psychiatric morbidity

  • Jeremy Coid (a1), Ann Petruckevitch (a1), Paul Bebbington (a2), Traolach Brugha (a3), Dinesh Bhugra (a4), Rachel Jenkins (a4), Mike Farrell (a5), Glyn Lewis (a6) and Nicola Singleton (a7)...
Abstract
Background

In England and Wales, persons of African–Caribbean origin are more likely to be both imprisoned and admitted to secure hospitals.

Aims

To estimate population-based rates of imprisonment in different ethnic groups, and compare criminal behaviour and psychiatric morbidity.

Method

We examined Home Office data on all persons in prison, and carried out a two-stage cross-sectional survey of 3142 remanded and sentenced, male and female, prisoners in all penal establishments in England and Wales in 1997.

Results

We confirmed high rates of imprisonment for Black people and lower rates for South Asians. Different patterns of offending and lower prevalence of psychiatric morbidity were observed in Black prisoners.

Conclusions

Despite increased risks of imprisonment, African–Caribbeans show less psychiatric morbidity than White prisoners. This contrasts with the excess of African–Caribbeans in secure hospitals, an inconsistency possibly in part due to the effects of ethnic groups on admission procedures.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor Jeremy Coid, Forensic Psychiatry Research Unit, St Bartholomew's Hospital, William Harvey House, 61 Bartholomew Close, London EGA 7BE, UK. Tel: 020 7601 8138; fax: 020 7601 7969; e-mail: J.W.Coid@qmul.ac.uk
Footnotes
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See part 2, pp. 481–487, this issue.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Ethnic differences in prisoners: 1: Criminality and psychiatric morbidity

  • Jeremy Coid (a1), Ann Petruckevitch (a1), Paul Bebbington (a2), Traolach Brugha (a3), Dinesh Bhugra (a4), Rachel Jenkins (a4), Mike Farrell (a5), Glyn Lewis (a6) and Nicola Singleton (a7)...
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