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date: 03 December 2022

Latinxs, Discrimination, and Crimelocked

Latinxs, Discrimination, and Crimelocked

  • Deena A. IsomDeena A. IsomDepartment of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of South Carolina
  •  and Deanna CannDeanna CannDepartment of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of South Carolina

Summary

The Latinx community is ever expanding in America, accounting for over half of the population growth since 2010. While immigration numbers have decreased, Latinxs are still projected to represent 27.5% of the total American population by 2060. The Latinx community holds a distinct position in the American racial hierarchy, sometimes sandwiched between their White and Black counterparts, but often intertwined with the oppressions faced by Blacks as well as confronting their own marginalization. Furthermore, Latinxs often find themselves in a unique disjuncture between their cultural heritage and American norms. Such factors coalesce into a distinct lived experience for Latinxs in America. Due to their structural position in American society, it is unsurprising that Latinxs are disproportionately entangled in the criminal justice system at the state and federal levels, with Latino men being incarcerated at a rate nearly three times higher than their White counterparts. The unique American history of the Latinx community created factors that distinctly impact those labeled Latinx. From the Spanish colonization of Latin and North Americas, the Mexican-American War, Mexican Repatriation, to the modern conservative push to “build the wall,” those of Latinx American heritage have been racialized, marginalized, and oppressed in the United States. This history has led to an era of Juan Crow and a crimmigration system that distinctly legalizes the discrimination and perpetuates the marginalization of Latinxs in America. The lived experiences of Latinxs, particularly their encounters with discrimination, cannot be separated from their entanglement with the American criminal justice system. Several unique cultural factors, such as ethnic identity, familism, and religion, also aid Latinxs in their resilience against discrimination and its impacts. Further research to empirically inform the development of culturally appropriate interventions and policies for Latinxs is imperative in promoting equity and inclusion for one of America’s most overlooked and vulnerable populations.

Subjects

  • Race, Ethnicity, and Crime

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