Latinos are “dramatically overrepresented” as crime victims in California, where they are murdered at twice the rate of white victims, according to a study by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California. And when they are arrested they receive much harsher treatment, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The study says the disparate treatment of Latinos is particularly evident in the criminal justice system, where Latinos are less likely to be released from custody on their own recognizance, more likely to be denied bail and are issued significantly higher bail amounts than similarly situated white or black suspects.
The study also said Latinos are “disproportionately snared” by gang injunctions — civil court orders that can limit alleged gang members' movements in targeted neighborhoods — and frequently encounter difficulties in the criminal justice system because of language barriers. “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,” the report said. Latinos now comprise the second-largest ethnic and racial group in the U.S., after whites.