Differences in Skin Tone among Hispanic Inmates in Florida’s Prisons

Carmen M. Cusack


Purpose: This research asked whether darker skin tones are more prevalent among Hispanic inmates in Florida.

Methods: Von Luschan’s Chromatic Scale includes 36 shades between “white” and “black”. Raters compared photos of inmates to the shade scale. Results: Among female inmates in Florida, “brown” shades were most abundant. “Brown” shades are darker than intermediate or “olive” shades, which are reportedly most abundant among Hispanics worldwide. However, “black” shades were not as prevalent among female inmates. Among male inmates, “black” and “brown” shades were most abundant. Proportionally, more female inmates than male inmates were light.

Conclusion: These findings are potentially relevant to literature about differences between Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics in arrests, sentencing, and incarceration. 

Key words: shade, inmates, Florida, Hispanics, White, Black, Native, Mestizo, dark-skinned, lightskinned, olive-skinned, brown people, racism.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7227/ERCW.5.1.3


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