Community Supervision and Health among Latina Women: Understanding Gendered and Racialized Patterns
The combination of extra-carceral surveillance by the US criminal legal system and the US immigration system may have unique consequences for Latina women in the United States. Rates of community supervision by the criminal legal system (through probation or parole) have grown disproportionately among women and Latinx people in recent decades, and rates of community supervision by the US immigration system (through mechanisms like Alternative to Detention programs)-which have always targeted Latinas-have grown exponentially since the mid-2000s. These forms of community supervision may have distinct and significant consequences for the health and health care of Latinas in the US as they face varying concerns about their immigration status and criminal legal status. Such consequences, however, may be difficult to detect precisely because of the potentially unique selection processes that entrap Latinas into community supervision. Whereas women and white people involved with the US criminal legal system tend to be drawn from the unhealthiest segments of their respective populations, the health of Latinas under community supervision may be more likely to reflect the health of non-supervised Latinas. Understanding the potential disproportionate rise in community supervision among Latinas as well as their potentially unique health selection into community supervision has important empirical, theoretical, and policy implications for our knowledge of gendered and racialized inequalities in punishment and health. This area of research, however, remains unexplored in the literature. Addressing this pressing gap, our study uses data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) (1) to examine whether and how trends in community supervision among Latinas have changed over time and (2) to investigate the extent to which the health and health care outcomes of Latinas under community supervision reflect a unique gendered and racialized selection process.