For the first time — Latinos make up more than half of all federal felony offenders sentenced so far this year, a major demographic shift swollen by immigration offenses, according to a new government report.
Latinos already outnumber all other ethnic groups sentenced to serve time in prison for federal felonies.
The report released Tuesday shows that Latinos reached the milestone by making up the majority of all federal felony offenders sentenced in the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Latinos comprised 50.3 percent of all people sentenced in that time period, blacks 19.7 percent and whites 26.4 percent.
The commission’s statistics also reveal that sentences for felony immigration crimes — which include illegal crossing and other crimes such as alien smuggling — were responsible for most of the increase in the number of Latinos sent to prison over the last decade.