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Recent publications have contributed to increase the perception among Hispanics of an unfair and unequal treatment of this community by the US Criminal Justice System. One of the major concerns was the claim that Hispanics are incarcerated before conviction nearly twice as often as Whites. Unfair treatment perception by the population reduces legitimacy of police and government, and thus, it is imperative to analyze these uninvestigated allegations. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to address said allegations of discrimination against Hispanics and analyze with updated and reliable statistics whether Hispanics are incarcerated before conviction more often than Whites. There has been much research exploring the effects of race and ethnicity in the US criminal justice system, however most of it is focused on African Americans but not Hispanics although it is the largest and fastest growing minority in the United States. The present study is based on data collected in the Annual Survey of Jails, 2014 prepared by the Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. Starting in 2010, the Bureau of Justice Statistics improved the Annual Survey of Jails survey instruments to address certain topics, among others, the number of inmates that are unsentenced. Therefore this allows for the first time to obtain such information with reliable data and not based on a sample survey estimation. From the regression analysis of the data of this study, it resulted that the model accounted for 77% of the explanation of the relationship between the possibility of being incarcerated without conviction in a US jail and the fact of being Hispanic. However, this relationship was not statistically significant when controlling for age and gender. The Level of confidence in this study was 95%.

Publication Date



Hispanics, Latinos, Discrimination, Jail, Criminal Justice, Incarceration


Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Inequality and Stratification | Latina/o Studies | Law and Race | Other Political Science | Political Science | Race and Ethnicity

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Kristine Artello

Is Part Of

VCU Graduate Research Posters

Are Hispanics Discriminated Against in the US Criminal Justice System?