The idea of ‘race relations in prison' brings together potent symbols of troubled times. The numbers of young men being confined to prison seems to reach record levels on an annual basis while concerns about social cohesion are haunted by a fear that British society no longer has a strong image of itself. Ever since the riots in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley in Spring/Summer 2001 there has been intense political concern that white and minority ethnic communities in Britain are growing apart, not together. More recently, public unease about knife and gun crime has led to calls for tougher prison sentences, alongside bewilderment at the perceived violence and nihilism among Britain's young people
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