March 20, 2017
Source: Book Cover
This new book by Martin Guevara Urbina and Sofia Espinoza Alvarez is designed as a Latino reader in criminal justice, covering a much broader spectrum of the Latino experience in criminal justice and society, while giving readers a broad overview of the Latino experience in a single book. Considering the shifting trends in demographics and the current state of the criminal justice system, along with the current political “climate,” this book is timely and of critical significance for the academic, political, and social arena. The authors report sound evidence that testifies to a historical legacy of violence, brutality, manipulation, oppression, marginalization, prejudice, discrimination, power, and control, and to white America’s continued fear about ethnic and racial minorities, a movement that continues in the twenty-first century—as we have been witnessing during the 2015-2016 presidential race, highly charged with anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican political rhetoric. A central objective of this book is to demystify and expose the ways in which ideas of ethnicity, race, gender, and class uphold the functioning and “legitimacy” of the criminal justice system. In this mission, rather than attempting to develop a single explanation for the Latino experience in policing, the courts, and the penal system, this book presents a variety of studies and perspectives that illustrate alternative ways of interpreting crime, punishment, safety, equality, and justice. The findings reveal that race, ethnicity, gender, class, and several other variables continue to play a significant role in the legal decision-making process. With the social control (from police brutality to immigration) discourse reaching unprecedented levels, the book will have broad appeal for students, police officers, advocates/activists, attorneys, the media, and the general public.