chapter  57
6 Pages

Ethnic Minority Offenders

WithDavid Ndegwa

Much of the discourse on black or black British (African Caribbean, African, or Black Other as described in the 2001 census) offending has focused on the search for explanations for the observed over-representation in the criminal justice system (CJS). Arguments about the extent of over-representation in the CJS have been addressed by the annual UK Ministry of Justice statistics following the 1991 Criminal Justice Act, while those in psychiatric hospital settings have been addressed by the Count Me In census conducted by the Health Care Commission and later the Care Quality Commission between 2005 and 2010. The Count Me In census confirmed the over-representation of black patients in those admitted compulsorily to hospitals and receiving what have been perceived as coercive interventions. More research needs to be conducted to explain the observed phenomena. Such research would aid in the design of interventions to address violence and offending in institutional and community environments while at the same time informing community-based preventative interventions. To address the question of whether the determinants of offending in the white and black population are the same or whether there are specific aspects related to ethnicity, one must employ a broad-based approach to testing whether current understandings in criminology explain what is observed.