We Don’t Know How Many Latinos are Affected by the Criminal Justice System
Urban Institute
October 21, 2016

“We don’t know how many Latinos are affected by the criminal justice system

“If you’re not counted, you don’t count. In this era of metrics and analytics, most people understand the importance of accurate statistics on race and policing. Though public data on race in the criminal justice system is far from complete, most states at least report the number of white and black/African American people in their prison and arrest records—numbers that play a key role in informing today’s movements, like Black Lives Matter.

“When it comes to ethnicity, though, there are many holes.

“Latinos are a fast-growing portion of both the US population (nearly one in five Americans are Latino) and the correctional population, but gaps in states’ criminal justice system data mean that we don’t know how many Latinos are in prison, on probation, or arrested.

“Criminal justice system data are used to develop policies that affect sentencingprison and jail programming, and reentry services. If we don’t have an accurate picture of who is in our justice systems, we cannot make good policy.”

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