Scholars clearly should broaden their focus beyond blacks and whites to include Latinos with varying levels of citizenship status whenever possible in future research on police treatment and the criminal justice system. The growth of Latinos across broad sectors of U.S. society requires a renewed focus on multiple racial/ethnic/immigrant groups in the comparison of experiences with the police across a variety of communities and regions. Related to the growing ethnic diversity across the nation is the renewed concern about the influx of immigrants and the perpetuation of stereotypes on criminal immigrant Latinos by political commentators, policymakers, and residents in areas with growing immigrant Latino populations. The incorporation of Latinos will help scholars of violent crime, serious delinquency, and policing produce a broader understanding of the race/ethnic and violent crime linkages and expand that focus to include the diverse ecological contexts in which blacks, whites, and Latinos reside.
In addition, early scholars had an intimate understanding of the role Latinos and immigrants played in crime and police research in their era. Regrettably, that degree of familiarity seems to have disappeared from much of the recent criminology and policing literature, making it difficult for readers to benefit from the insights arising not only from the violent crime and disadvantage literature but also from other areas in the social sciences, especially the insights yielded by recent immigration studies. Until we bring Latinos and immigrants back into the study of crime, while considering citizenship status, our understanding of race/ethnicity will be underdeveloped at best.
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