Incomplete and inconsistent data on Americans of Latin origin seriously hampers justice system policy making, according to The Urban Institute.
“No one knows exactly how many Latinos are arrested each year or how many are in prison, on probation or on parole,” the Institute said in a report funded by the Public Welfare Foundation. This failure means Latinos are underrepresented in justice-system policy formation, the December 2016 report says.
The report showed 30 states reported race in their ethnic origins and only 15 states reported ethnicity. As the nation’s Latino population is expected to rise to over 28 percent by 2060, an accurate picture is needed for this American community.
The report states that by counting people either as Black or White means there is no separate Latino label. This artificially inflates the number of White people and distorts the White/Black disparity in the criminal justice system.
The report recommends that states follow current Census Bureau standards and collect race and ethnicity data separately. This would allow descriptive categories such as non-Hispanic White and Hispanic Black.