Why the surge in Muslim prisoners?

Taken from the BBC website.

It’s a crime mystery. Why has there been a surge in the number of Muslim prisoners? In 2002, 5,502 prisoners in England and Wales said they were Muslim. Three years later, the number had risen to 7,246 and almost a decade on, by December 2014, it had reached 12,225.

OK, I hear you say, the overall prison population has also increased, so what’s the big deal?

Indeed, prisoner numbers have risen from an average of 70,778 in 2002 to 84,691 last December. But that 20% increase in the jail population has been outstripped by the rise in Muslim inmates – up 122%.

One possible explanation for the rise is that there are now more Muslims in the general population. In the 2001 census, 3% of people in England and Wales said they were Muslim – 1.55 million. By 2011, that had gone up to 4.8 % – 2.7 million people – so you’d expect the numbers in prison to go up too.

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