A new study by Californians for Safety and Justice has found some unsettling news about Latinos and crimes. The study, titled Latino Voices: The Impacts of Crime and Criminal Justice Policies on Latinos, found that Latinos are twice as likely to be murdered than non-Hispanic whites.
These findings are consistent with a study published earlier this year by the Violence Policy Center which found that homicide is the second leading cause of death in young Hispanics aged 15 to 24. The study, which also found that guns are responsible for two-thirds of Hispanic murder victims, revealed that Hispanics are more likely to be killed by a stranger than the national average.
“Our report shows that America’s gun violence epidemic has a disproportionate impact on the Hispanic community,” said VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann. “This epidemic of violence is destroying lives and tearing families apart. Preventing gun violence should be an urgent priority for all public officials from community leaders to members of Congress.”
If being the victims of crimes were not bad enough, the Californians for Safety and Justice study found that when Latinos are arrested for a crime, they receive harsher treatment -- they are less likely to be released for custody, more likely to be denied bail, are issued significantly higher bail and face barriers in terms of language.
“By being both more vulnerable to crime as well as disadvantaged in every phase of the criminal justice system, Latinos are poorly served by current policies and practices,” wrote the authors of the report. “Matters are made worse by the special circumstances that arise when a large share of the Latino population is foreign born: Immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than U.S.-born individuals, yet law enforcement and criminal justice practices can be unnecessarily harsh for immigrants.”