1932

Abstract

An important body of work documents how race matters for the patterning of crime and criminal legal system involvement largely by focusing on comparisons between Blacks and Whites. We build on this vital scholarship by spotlighting Latino/a/xs, a fast-growing group that is the United States’ largest racial minority, to broaden the field's understanding of race and crime. In this review, we follow race scholars who see Latino/a/xs as a racial category because dominant actors racialize them as an innate, distinct, inferior, and criminogenic category, leading to their marginalized experiences across many domains. Moreover, Latino/a/xs increasingly view themselves as not White. Studying Latino/a/xs offers an opportunity to integrate key tenets of Latina and Latino Critical Legal Theory (LatCrit), which provide a scaffolding to center race and racism. LatCrit highlights the ways racism metes out discrimination, cultural and linguistic devaluation, criminalization, and racial profiling that in turn shape and are shaped by levels of Latino/a/x crime and legal system involvement. This article provides a description of what it means to center race with an emphasis on LatCrit,an empirical assessment of Latino/a/x crime and legal system involvement, and an integration of core criminological theory with LatCrit. By doing so, we advance the field to more directly and robustly engage with the idea that racial disparities in crime and legal system involvement are products of racialization as well as attendant policies, institutions, and practices that historically and contemporaneously subjugate and marginalize the Latino/a/x population. We seek to push the boundaries of criminology theory and thereby invigorate and equip them for the twenty-first century and its racial landscape, which is increasingly Latino/a/x.

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2023-01-27
2024-04-20
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