The Prison Reform Trust has throughout its history worked to highlight the disproportionate representation of and the poorer outcomes for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in our prisons. In this section you can find our latest work.
What's the issue?
- Over a quarter (27%) of the prison population, 21,537 people, are from a minority ethnic group.
- If our prison population reflected the ethnic make-up of England and Wales, we would have over 9,000 fewer people in prison—the equivalent of 12 average-sized prisons.
- There is a clear direct association between ethnicity and the odds of receiving a custodial sentence. People from black , Asian, and “Chinese or other” backgrounds are more likely to be sent to prison at the Crown Court.
- Black and Asian people in prison are more likely to be serving long sentences than other groups.
- Black people and people with a mixed ethnic background serve a greater proportion of their determinate sentence in custody than white people.
Latest news & updates: Race and prisonView all news and updates
New briefing casts doubt on the legality of the use of PAVA spray in prisons
Outcomes have failed to improve, more than five years on from David Lammy’s seminal review
If ministers only read one report about prisons, let it be this one
PPN seeks views from inside on how ethnicity and race affects experience of prison
Last month, Prison Reform Trust director Peter Dawson wrote to Jo Farrar, Chief Executive Officer of...
Prison Reform Trust director, Peter Dawson has written to Jo Farrar, Second Permanent Secretary, Min...
Our latest publicationsView all
- November 2023 Equality incapacitated: the disproportionate impact of PAVA spray on Black, Muslim and disabled prisoners The use of force in prison is only justifiable if it is legal, proportionate in the circumstances, r... Equality incapacitated: the disproportionate impact of PAVA spray on Black, Muslim and disabled prisoners
- March 2023 Lammy Five Years On The Lammy review into the treatment of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals by t... Lammy Five Years On
- February 2021 Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile: Winter 2021 Our flagship publication brings together the latest facts about prisons and the people in them. Bromley Briefings Prison Factfile: Winter 2021
- August 2017 Counted Out: Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in the criminal justice system The purpose of this briefing is to help ensure that women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic grou... Counted Out: Black, Asian and minority ethnic women in the criminal justice system