Fewer than 2 percent of those booked at the Washington County Jail on state and local charges are in the country without proper documentation, according to a recent study.
That's significant, said Brad Myrstol, an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Arkansas. The Washington County Sheriff's Office hired Myrstol to study drug and alcohol use among those arrested at the jail.
"We see a lot of references to immigrant crime without a lot of data. The perception of immigrant crime is largely a social and media creation, even a political creation," Myrstol said. Studies show immigrant communities tend to have less crime than the general population, he said.