Faith in Indiana

Analyzing Data to Advance Police Reform in Indianapolis

Indianapolis and Marion County, IN

Indiana’s jail population has risen dramatically because of policy reforms that have lengthened sentences and transferred incarcerated people from prisons to jails. And with nearly 40 percent of Indiana’s incarcerated population being Black, racial and ethnic disparities in the jail population are stark. In 2020, the Indianapolis City-County Council formed the General Orders Board, which has democratic oversight over local law enforcement. It’s the first time the community has had a formal voice in overseeing police policy, but the community lacks key data with which to advocate for justice reform.

With Catalyst Grant funding, Faith in Indiana, in partnership with the Polis Center at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, will analyze Marion County Jail data to better understand trends in who is incarcerated in the jail and use those findings to promote jail diversion and decarceration efforts in Indianapolis. In addition, Faith in Indiana and the Polis Center will train grassroots leaders to survey community members about their experiences with law enforcement and the justice system. The grantees will share findings from both activities through interactive dashboards and visualizations during community meetings led by directly impacted leaders and leverage the General Orders Board to spur reform locally.