Ethnic Concentration and Incarceration: An Analysis of Texas and California Counties

Loretta Capeheart, Northeastern Illinois University

Blalock (1966) theorized that increased ethnic concentration increases discrimination against the minority group. Saenz (1997) found support for this proposition in his analysis of poverty in minority communities. The purpose of this work is to analyze incarceration as an expression of discrimination against minority populations. The paper correlates ethnic concentration with incarceration. The concentration of Anglo, African American, and Chicano populations in various counties within Texas and California are correlated with the entrance of each group into state prison. Incarceration is analyzed using the most common imprisonment offenses in each county in order to control for seriousness of offense. It is hoped that this analysis will allow for an increased understanding of the overrepresentation of minority populations, specifically African Americans and Chicanos housed in state correctional institutions.

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Updated 05/20/2006