Ethnic minorities more likely to be jailed than white Dutch: research

Prison interior with dramatic lightPeople with an ethnic minority background are more likely to be sentenced to a jail term than their white peers and their sentences are likely to be longer, Trouw reports on Thursday.

The research was carried out by Leiden University for the Dutch legal council Raad voor de Rechtspraak .

The researchers analysed more than 100,000 criminal cases from between 2005 and 2007 and interviewed 1,500 people who had been remanded in custody.

The results showed a white Dutch person had a 7% chance of being sentenced to a prison term for aggravated theft while people with Turkish and Antillean backgrounds had an 11% risk.

One reason for this could be that judges are less likely to jail someone who has a job, Trouw says. As people from a minority background are more likely to be unemployed, their chances of going to prison rise.

The council has called for more research to be done into sentencing patterns among people from different ethnic backgrounds.

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