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  • Cohort 2021

    Forward Justice

    Using Policing Data and Collaboration to Advocate for Criminal Justice Reform

    Mecklenburg County, NC

    In North Carolina, Black people represent 22 percent of the population but account for 55 percent of the state prison population. This mass incarceration of Black people is a result of discriminatory overpolicing. To illuminate the urgency of reforming North Carolina’s criminal legal system, many stakeholders—people with criminal records, their family members, service providers, faith communities, community leaders, and concerned residents—need easily accessible data on the overpolicing of Black communities and other communities of color. They also need support on how to use data to effect change.

    With Catalyst Grant funding, Forward Justice, in partnership with the Mecklenburg County chapter of the NC Second Chance Alliance, has expanded access to statewide traffic stop data on the newly launched website NC CopWatch. Throughout the grant period the two organizations have been training community members to use the website and implementing their feedback to make it more user friendly. They will continue equipping impacted community members and advocates with NC CopWatch data they can use in their fight to reduce discriminatory policing and end unnecessary regulatory stops. They will also continue developing community resources to increase data transparency and knowledge around discriminatory policing to advance local policy change.

    Read the Urban Institute's blog post on using traffic stop data for change in Mecklenburg County.


    2021 Grantees

    Abolitionist Law Center
    Allegheny County, PA

    Faith in Indiana
    Marion County, IN

    Forward Justice
    Mecklenburg County, NC

    Just City
    Shelby County, TN

    Just Communities Arizona
    Tucson, AZ

    Texas Center for Justice and Equity
    City of Houston and Harris County, TX

    Urban Strategies Council
    East Oakland, CA

    Youth Advocate Programs
    Mecklenburg County, NC

    Youth Justice Network
    New York and Bronx Counties, NY