Badge of Honor: The Project in Philadelphia is a community art project designed to raise awareness and break the cycle of incarceration among Latinos and their sons, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. The aim is to place about seven works of visual art throughout Latino sections of North Philadelphia, including community centers, businesses, and homes. The Latino imprisonment rate is “about 50 percent higher than it should be,” said Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C., think tank on criminal justice. “Nationally, 20 percent of the U.S. prison population is Latino. In society, however, Latinos represent 13 percent of the population.”
Latinos are incarcerated at about 2 1/2 times the rate of whites, and African Americans are jailed at a rate of about seven times that of whites. Latinos also tend to receive tougher sentences, Mauer said. The war on drugs, racial profiling by police and the courts, language barriers, and lower education levels are factors fueling the problem.