The Modesto Bee published an op-ed examining rising trends in incarceration among Latino men. Ryan S. King of the Sentencing Project and Angela Maria Arboleda of the National Council of La Raza examine the 400 percent increase in incarceration for Latino men in the last 20 years, a markedly steeper increase over incarceration of whites and blacks. There are 450,000 Latinos in the U.S. incarceration system and one in six Latino men will spend some part of their life in prison, despite research that suggests that Latinos are historically less likely to commit crimes.
One important factor is the war on drugs. Although drug use among Latinos is proportionate to drug use in the general population, Latinos are twice as likely to be sentenced to incarceration in a state prison on drug charges. Nearly one in four Latinos currently in prison was convicted of a drug offense.
[Image of a mural at Estrada Courts in L.A.]