Note: This is a guest post from one of Tides’ projects, Californians for Safety and Justice, edited for clarity.

“Cumulative disadvantage.”

That’s the term we used – and troubling discovery we made – in a new report about Latino experiences with crime and the justice system. Latino Voices: The Impact of Crime and Criminal Justice Policies on Latinos reveals that most public safety policies don’t align with many Latino needs and values – and highlights growing calls for change.

Despite representing a larger portion of California’s population than whites, Latinos are dramatically overrepresented as crime victims – and in our courts, jails and prisons. Research shows that Latinos receive harsher treatment in arrests, pretrial proceedings and sentencing than whites, even when charged with the same offenses.

  • Latinos are murdered twice as much as whites in California — and more by strangers.
  • Latinos are more likely to be shot and burglarized than whites.
  • Hate crimes against Latinos rise as immigration increases.
  • Latinos awaiting trial were more likely to be denied bail, or their bail was set higher than African Americans or whites.
  • Latinos were 44% more likely to be incarcerated than whites for the same crimes.

These findings come at the time when state and national policymakers are looking to replace ineffective, costly prison-first approaches with solutions that actually prevent crime and create healthier communities.

That’s why we’re partnering with 10 Latino organizations to further findings of this report – and recommendations for how to more effectively, fairly improve safety in our communities. Please visit to view the report and learn more about this effort.

And if you’re on Twitter, we’re starting a series of Twitter Chats on Tuesdays at Noon PT at @SafeandJust (hashtags #SchoolsNotPrisons, #LatinoVoices). We’ll host a discussion with our lead partner, the National Council of La Raza, on the report findings and ways to pursue smarter justice strategies for all.