Why are so many men imprisoned?

Over 90,000 men are currently imprisoned in the UK accounting for 95% of prisoners which probably makes it the country’s leading ‘men’s service’.

But why are so many men imprisoned an what type of men end up in jail? Well research shows that:

According to the Centre for Social Justice research studies conducted in the UK, US, China, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Hong Kong and Taiwan all agree that the following are risk factors or indicators of susceptibility to youth criminal activity:

  • Inadequate parenting
  • Child abuses/maltreatment
  • Family disruption
  • Poor parental supervision
  • Parental or sibling criminality
  • Having teenage parents
  • Unstable living conditions
  • The effects of economic disadvantage

Taking all of this into account the simple reason that so many men are imprisoned is that they get caught committing crime. And when you consider the background of male prisoners it seems evident that time spent supporting boys in care, fatherless boys, boys excluded from schools, boys with mental health disorders and boys with learning difficulties has the potential to deliver huge benefits in reducing the male prison population in the long run.


Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at www.helpingmen.co.uk.

Posted in NEWS
9 comments on “Why are so many men imprisoned?
  1. […] But what type of men end up in jail? Click here for statistics on men in jail.  […]

  2. Anonymous says:

    […] all classes of society would be equally represented in prison. So what type of men end up in jail? Click here for statistics on men in jail. Out of the gloom a voice spake unto me. 'Smile and be happy, Things could get worse." So I […]

  3. Tony says:

    i am in the eyes of most people around me am intelligent male and i worked in mental health. grew up in a poor, volatile, disruptive and unstable environmentbut 18 years ago i found myself in prison for a period of 4 months. issues relating to my upbringing were not considered in fact i was judged in isolation and my past was actually used against me. In prison i met individuals who clearly suffered from mental illness, illiteracy was prevalent, the lack of parental and in particular male role models was very high, and most werefom poor economic back grounds. I hae tried since i have been out to work with ex-offenders but i have been halted by probation, police social services because i had been in prison. Trying to get society and institutions to take on board the need for support for young men and boys and men in general is in my experience treated with derision.

    • glenpoole says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us Tony – sorry to hear that a man who wants to make a difference for other men and boys has faced those barriers – don’t give up, we need more men like you who are prepare to take action – best regards

  4. […] We keep compiling all important facts and statistics and recent editions to our collection that you might be interested to read (by clicking on the title) including Male Cancer Inequalities,  killer facts about male suicide and why are some many men in prison? […]

  5. Where are the dads? says:

    Learn from elephants, our kids need strong male role models. Even young elephants cause havoc growing up with out adult males to teach them the way of elephants. See here: http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/pdfs/data/2000/158-22/15822-08.pdf

  6. […] the issues facing the male prison population on this blog (See our short statistical post asking why are so many men imprisoned and our news item about mentally ill men stuck in ‘Victorian lunatic […]

  7. […] the issues facing the male prison population on this blog (See our short statistical post asking why are so many men imprisoned and our news item about mentally ill men stuck in ‘Victorian lunatic […]

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