Experts estimate that American taxpayers spend about $75 billion annually to support adult prisoners in detention, most of whom are men of color. Meanwhile, another generation of Latino young men and boys is at risk of being incarcerated.
This wide-ranging collection highlights the best practices developed and employed by community-based institutions to keep low-income, at-risk Latino youth out of prison so they can lead productive lives. Focusing on the work of a variety of expert practitioners and organizations, most notably the non-profits National Compadres Network and La Plazita Institute, Overcoming Disparity shares strategies, tools and resources used to effectively deal with the challenges boys of color face because of poverty, injustice and discrimination.
Based on the culturally grounded model called La Cultura Cura, the practices outlined emphasize Chicano/Latino history and use cultural expression and ritual to educate and create self-awareness, develop community programs and advance socially focused business ventures that encourage youth and community economic development.
Editors Frank de Jesús Acosta and Henry Ramos assert it is imperative that the nation’s fastest-growing community—including millions of impoverished Latino young men and boys—must be successful. “Our very future as a functioning democracy and global economic leader hangs in the balance if we cannot find a way to better harness the presently underutilized and under-resourced capacities of this population.” Including a curated sampling of leading tools, models and evaluations, Overcoming Disparity is a critically important text for policy makers, community builders, researchers, investors and others concerned about American social policy and its impact on the economy and the lives of its citizens.