How Latina girls and women become entangled in the criminal justice system
Despite representing roughly 16 percent of incarcerated women, Latina women and girls are often rendered invisible in accounts of American crime and punishment. In Latinas in the Criminal Justice System, Vera Lopez and Lisa Pasko bring together a group of distinguished scholars to provide a more complete, nuanced picture of Latinas as victims, offenders, and targets of deportation. Featuring Cecilia Menjívar, Lisa M. Martinez, Alice Cepeda, and others, this volume examines the complex histories, backgrounds, and struggles of Latinas in the criminal justice system.
Contributors show us how Latinas encounter a variety of justice systems, including juvenile detention, adult court and corrections, and immigration and customs enforcement. Topics include Latina victims of crime and their perceptions of police officers; the impact of the US “crimmigration” system on undocumented Latina women; and help-seeking among Latina victims of intimate partner violence. Additionally, key chapters highlight the emergence of legal reforms, community mobilization efforts, and gender-sensitive alternatives to incarceration designed to increase equitable outcomes.
Lopez and Pasko broaden our understanding of how gender, ethnicity, and legal status uniquely shape the experiences of system-impacted Latina girls and women. Latinas in the Criminal Justice System is a timely and much-needed resource for academics, activists, and policymakers.
VERA LOPEZ is an associate professor of Justice and Social Inquiry in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University in Tempe. She is the coeditor of Adolescent Girls’ Sexualities and the Media.
Lisa Pasko is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology, and affiliated faculty in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, at the University of Denver. She is co-author of The Female Offender, Girls, Women, and Crime and Girls, Women, and Crime: Selected Readings and Latinas in the Criminal Justice System: Victims, Targets, and Offenders.
Latinas in the Criminal Justice System shines an important light on a topic long neglected by criminologists and criminology. Lopez and Pasko elevate the often ignored voices and situations of Latina girls and women, who are often invisible in the many debates about immigration. A must read.
~Meda Chesney-Lind, co-author of Beyond Bad Girls: Gender, Violence and Hype
Contributing authors masterfully examine and vividly delineate the historical, social, legal, and ideological forces governing the Latina experience with the penal system and mainstream American society. In a highly charged political era, this book is a timely contribution to help educate readers about police, law and society, race/ethnic relations, and social and legal reform.
~M.G Urbina, Choice