A new report released by the National Council of La Raza and the Campaign for Youth Justice yesterday finds that the U.S. justice system incarcerates more Latino youth than White youth and treats them more harshly for similar offenses.
The justice system incarcerates nearly 18,000 Latino youth each day and holds nearly one in four in an adult jail or prison. The report shows that holding Latino youth in adult facilities subjects them to significant dangers, such as suicide and rape, and causes severe emotional damage due to unjust treatment and the lack of therapeutic care.
The report calls on Congress to provide funds for community-based programs and alternative treatments to incarceration that effectively promote educational and emotional development among Latino youth and to reauthorize and update the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act this year to reduce racial disparities in the justice system and ban youth from being housed in adult jails. It also recommends that state and local policymakers stop housing Latino youth in adult jails and transfer resources from incarceration to effective, community-based programs.