Black people are six times more likely to be sent to prison than whites, a new survey reveals.
It throws fresh light on the huge disparities in justice experienced by minority ethnic groups in Britain and has prompted a call for an independent inquiry.
The wide-ranging study also found that – contrary to the popular belief of ethnic communities living in a disadvantaged ‘ghetto’ culture – white prisoners more often came from a background that was impoverished or abusive than their black counterparts.
Black prisoners were half as likely as whites to have been taken into local authority care during childhood, to have reported violence in their homes or suffered sexual abuse.
Professor Jeremy Coid of the Royal London School of Medicine, who led the study, said the findings questioned whether black people are dealt with more harshly within the criminal justice system.
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