Crime Control Strategies in School: Chicanas'/os' Perceptions and Criminalization

Edwardo L. Portillos, Juan Carlos González, Anthony A. Peguero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


High schools throughout the United States experience problems with violence, drugs, and crime. School administrators have responded with policies and strategies designed to prevent school violence such as zero tolerance approaches, partnerships with law enforcement agencies, security camera installations, and hiring additional security personnel to monitor students. The purpose of this research is to determine how Chicanas/os and school officials perceive and experience these techniques as part of a broader process of criminalization. In addition, using qualitative data we explore perceptions of safety and experiences with victimization. Qualitative data include interviews (with high school students, school administrators, and security personnel), an evaluation of a Chicana/o-centered program, and participant observations in a predominantly Chicana/o high school located in the Southwest. Findings show some students find the new techniques to be invasive and hostile and others find school security measures as providing a sense of security; and administrators and teachers generally find value in the new approaches. From a LatCrit perspective, we argue that Chicana/o and Mexicana/o experiences are set within a context of racialized space where criminalization is one possible outcome of school security measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-188
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Chicanas/os
  • Criminalization
  • High school
  • LatCrit theory
  • Racialized space
  • Surveillance
  • Youth culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Crime Control Strategies in School: Chicanas'/os' Perceptions and Criminalization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this