The Latino/a Experience in the United States Justice System
Elizabeth Sage and Gina Uhrich
This project explores the experiences of latinos/as in the United States Justice System. The website focuses on how latinos/as are over-represented in the Justice System and typically receive harsher punishments for the same crimes committed by their peers of a different ethnicity. The latino/a experience in the justice system is looked at from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Quantitatively, statistics comparing the incarceration rates and lengths of sentences of latinos to different ethnicities. Qualitatively, the website provides historical context for this topic by examining such cases as Sleepy Lagoon. As well as examining latino/a groups that have been targeted by the government and police such as the Young Lords.
While providing both data and historical examples, the website also takes a more personal approach by exploring writings from imprisoned latinos/as. This "Thoughts Behind Bars" section aims to give a voice to the imprisoned latinos/as. In addition to the writings, this website provides links to the personal bios and stories of well known latinos/as imprisoned. We hope to inspire our website's visitors to actively pursue changes in the justice system.
This project also identifies some of the major flaws in the justice system that lead to the overrepresentation of latino/as. Some of these problems include a language barrier, discrimination, and poor representation. Possible suggestions to these problems are proposed in the solutions section and are based off of the historical and statistical data provided. Hopefully, this website demonstrates how it is necessary for people to take an active role in changing the way the United States Justice System works for latino/as and other minorities.
American Culture 213