Así es: The experience of the Latino population in the United States Criminal Justice System
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Arts
The Latino population is the largest minority in the United States. Latinos are also overrepresented in the United States Criminal Justice System. This thesis discusses the social aspects that might predispose this population to overrepresentation in the Criminal Justice System as well as their experience within it as a significant minority. According to Cohen (1997), analysis of deviants involves understanding the intersection of structure, culture, and biography. Through an analysis and review of secondary sources, this thesis highlights the disadvantaged status of a large portion of the Latino population in the United States as well as their unique circumstances in relation to the Criminal Justice System – primarily their minority language and culture. An analysis of an autobiography by a Mexican-American gang member, Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez, complements the literature review to present a three-dimensional picture of the Latino population. A number of sociological theories detail the structural and cultural roots of the enhanced criminal activity in the Latino population and describe unique issues encountered by the Latino population. This thesis concludes by discussing possible programs to be implemented within the Criminal Justice System as well as the incorporation of asset-based community development initiatives within Latino communities across the country.
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