I get lots of great emails that deserve to be posted, many more than I do post, and as I've pointed out, which one's I do post are a rather a random function of how I feel at the moment I read them. I do have a soft spot, though, for first-person accounts from people in the helping professions about their interactions with the underclass.
I do criminal defense work in ... a number of courtrooms. I should start by noting that one "constant" about the inmate population here and (I'm sure) everywhere else, that cuts across racial and ethnic boundaries, is that all inmates are innocent, and if you don't believe it, just ask them.
Due to a relatively low overall black population in XXX, the black inmate population is relatively low. If the overall black population is 10%, the black inmate population might be 30% or so ...
If the overall Hispanic population is about 30% or so, the Hispanic inmate population is probably about 60%. In the rural areas ... the Hispanic inmate population is probably closer to 90-100%, large numbers of whom require the services of an interpreter and/or are in the country illegally).
As you suggest, this generation of Hispanics - even Hispanic wrongdoers - is relatively passive, especially the illegal aliens, who would have preferred to avoid public exposure altogether.
The black inmates have far more "cheek" - often even more so than Hispanic gang members - and maybe a little more naiveté about consequences of their own anti-social behavior and about the passage of time - though this is certainly not universally the case. But they're more likely to question why the authorities have them in custody in the first place.
Why can't I get out of custody? All I had was a little bit of crack in my knapsack.
Yeah, but you were on felony probation for assault with a deadly weapon and this was a violation of the terms of your probation.
I never touched her and besides that was a YEAR AGO! When does that get off my record anyway?
I've had black inmates with records as long as my right arm ask me to ask the judge for a release on their own recognizance and express amazement and irritation when I tell them that it's never going to happen.
Their families are often enabling factors. No black underclass mother who ever lived is capable of concluding that her son has misbehaved - no matter how much weaponry and narcotics he was caught with, no matter how brutal the offense. And this is also especially the case if her son has brutalized other women. None of those witches are good enough for her baby anyway.
As far as religion goes, I think that it's like any other medicine. Great for what ails you if properly prescribed and taken in the proper doses but potentially harmful otherwise.
There's a punitive aspect to religion and also a merciful aspect to it, and there are clerics who neglect the utility and necessity of one aspect or another. I've seen clerics come in and vouch for the morals and character of a number of thugs. In today's touchy-feely feminized world, it's the merciful aspect of religion that tends to be over-emphasized in public life.
Clerics tend to be over-represented in the anti-death penalty movement, and during the heart of the Cold War, particularly during the Reagan years, when the Russians were playing the role of international thugs, clerics were over-represented in the appeasement/disarmament movement.
Interestingly enough, the anti-war Left doesn't seem to have nearly as many clerics playing a prominent role now that the enemy espouses a competing religion with worldwide popularity, rather than a secular humanist philosophy (i.e. Communism).
I think it's safe to say that many, if not most, people with religious convictions bend religious dogma to suit their own preconceived biases and preferences, instead of the other way around. There's no reason to suppose that criminals behave differently.