Ethnic differences in prisoners - I: Criminality and psychiatric morbidity

J Coid, A Petruckevitch, P Bebbington, T Brugha, D Bhugra, R Jenkins, M Farrell, G Lewis, N Singleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


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. Declaration of interest None. Funded by the Department of Health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473 - 480
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberDEC.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethnic differences in prisoners - I: Criminality and psychiatric morbidity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this