National Council of La Raza

Juvenile Justice Fast Fact

Did you know that...

....Latino youth ages 10–17 are disproportionately represented in the justice system?


  • The proportion of Latino youth in the justice system is higher than their share of the general population. Of the estimated 71,000 incarcerated youth ages 10–17, at least 25% are Latino. However, Latino youth make up only 19% of the general population ages 10–17. By comparison, the proportion of White youth in the justice system is only half their share of the general population.
  • Latino youth are particularly overrepresented among youth sentenced to more than one year. Latinos make up 29% of youth held in long-term secure facilities (i.e., those carrying-out sentences beyond one year). In contrast, 26% of youth held in short-term facilities (i.e., those carrying-out sentences up to one year) are Latino.
  • Moreover, the number of Latino youth placed in adult facilities is increasing. In 2008, 20% of all incarcerated Latino youth were placed in adult facilities, compared to only 12% in 2000.