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Criminal Justice

The Latinx Data Gap in the Youth Justice System

Posted → Aug 25th, 2020

This report examines how statewide agencies involved in the juvenile justice system collect and report racial and ethnic data across the U.S.

Pattern

This report examines how statewide agencies involved in the juvenile justice system collect and report racial and ethnic data across the U.S. It finds that agencies across the country and within states gather and report data on race and ethnicity inconsistently, but more importantly, it finds that many agencies do not collect data on Latinx ethnicity. The lack of a consistent methodology for counting Latinx youth within states and across the nation undermines efforts to assess the extent to which these youth, their families, and communities are affected by the juvenile justice system.

 

Findings:

1. Today, Latinx youth represent 25%, or about 8.3 million, of the total U.S. youth population between ages 10-17.

2. State agencies involved in the criminal justice system collect data that identifies Latinx youth inconsistently if at all, creating an incomplete picture of Latinx ethnic data.

3. States report racial/ethnic data inconsistently across the 3 points of contact: arrests, detention, and probation.

    • 42% of states did not report racial or ethnic data for arrests
    • 30% of states did not report racial and ethnic data for detention
    • 52% of states did not have racial or ethnic data for probation
Latino Policy & Politics Initiative

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