Behind Desks & Bars: The Impact of Latino Underrepresentation in the Workforce of the Criminal Justice System
Herrera, Noelia C.
Washington and Lee University, Shepherd Poverty Program
Discrimination in criminal justice administration -- U.S. states
Due process of law -- U.S. states
MetadataShow full item record
Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Noelia C. Herrera is a member of the Class of 2022 of Washington and Lee University.The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world with over 2 million people incarcerated in federal, state, or local prisons and jails (Rovner, and Porter). People of color -- particularly Blacks and Latinos -- play disproportionate roles in the American criminal justice system as they are overrepresented in the incarcerated population and underrepresented as personnel. The goal of my research is to explore the relationship between the regulatory institutions of the criminal justice system and the individuals who participate in the system, particularly focusing on the ways in which the absence of ethnic/cultural representation amidst professionals impacts the service quality and delivery offered by said institutions. The regulatory institutions of the criminal justice system that I will focus on include law enforcement (police), the judiciary (attorneys and judges), and corrections (officers and staff), as they are the pillars of legal justice. Legal justice can also be understood as due process -- the promise of legality and fair procedure. . . . Overall, the significance of my work is rooted in the belief that the American criminal justice system is ethically and legally obligated to provide American citizens with equal and adequate services. The correlation between the high rates of Latinos who are incarcerated and the low rates of Latinos who are employed in the criminal justice system reveals deeply ingrained institutional issues that contribute to the ongoing crises of mass incarceration, institutional racism, and minority poverty across America. [From introductory section]