Jewish prisoners are now officially the naughtiest in Britain, according to a new Government report.
Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service Offender Equalities Annual Report even prompted Labour MP Lyn Brown to raise the issue of Jewish prisoners’ poor behaviour in the House of Commons this week.
The figures are contained within the Ministry of Justice’s newly released Official Statistics Bulletin, published last week, and show that Jewish convicts are the worst offenders once inside prison.
Since 1995 prisoners have had an incentives scheme whereby inmates earn additional privileges through constructive behaviour and activity. The lowest level, reflecting poor behaviour, is Basic.
Just three percent of those serving at Her Majesty’s pleasure are at Basic Incentives level, but analysts broke this down by religion and found that the two highest faiths groups were Muslims, at four percent, and Jews, at five percent.
Newly arrived prisoners typically enter prison on Standard level, which is better than Basic. After two weeks, if behaviour has not been poor, they progress to Enhanced.
According to the government, Basic level provides access only to the legal minimum. The Prison Reform Trust says Basic is applied when “behaviour has been poor” and provides only for things like “some letters and visits”. It does not permit prisoners to watch TV or make calls from their rooms or to wear their own clothes.
Minister of State for Prisons and Probation Lucy Frazer MP said: “Where data indicates disproportionate outcomes for BAME prisoners or people with other protected characteristics, the Governor is required to take steps to investigate and explain why these discrepancies exist and set out what reforms or actions are to be put in place to address such discrepancies.”
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