Latino and Native Youth Incarceration Disparities Persist
The Sentencing Project
Oct 12, 2017

Two new fact sheets from The Sentencing Project highlight the persistence of incarceration disparities among youth of color. Native youth are 300 percent more likely than white youth to be detained or committed to youth facilities, and Latino youth are 65 percent more likely.

For Latino youth, the disparity has declined slightly since 2001. For Native youth, it has grown. While the fact sheets only highlight incarceration disparities, differential treatment of youth of color – not differences in behaviors – drives the scale of the disparities.

In 37 states, Latino youth are more likely to be in custody than white youth. From 2001 to 2015, Latino-to-white disparities grew in 20 states.

Such comparisons for Native youth are complicated by the small numbers of Native youth in several states. However, in almost all states (except New Mexico) where Native youth comprise more than a scant proportion of all youth, they are more likely than white youth to be incarcerated. In four states — Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Washington – Native youth are at least four times more likely to be incarcerated.

We hope this new resource helps inform your work. Please contact Josh Rovner at if you have questions about these fact sheets or The Sentencing Project’s research on youth incarceration in the United States.

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