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  • Cohort 2023

    Freedom Community Center

    Improving the Collection and Sharing of Data from CourtWatch in St. Louis

    St. Louis, MO

    More than 85 percent of people accused of crimes in the St. Louis court system from June 2021 to June 2022 were Black, despite Black people making up only 45 percent of the city’s population. Over that year, members of the Freedom Community Center’s CourtWatch attended more than 1,800 bail hearings, observing disparate decisions made by judges and prosecutorial decisions that often resulted in recommendations to hold people in jail without bond, even people with health needs. CourtWatch not only provides real-time, quality data not otherwise available to the public and insight into court proceedings, but also trains volunteers to collect data and educates community members on prosecutorial and judicial practices.

    With Catalyst Grant funding, the Freedom Community Center will strengthen its capacity to collect, analyze, and share data collected through CourtWatch and contextualize those data with narratives from people incarcerated pretrial to illuminate their experiences with the criminal legal system. It will complete data analysis to develop a public-facing dashboard to share its findings, and it will encourage new community members to volunteer as “CourtWatchers.” By shining a light on prosecutorial and judicial practices through CourtWatch, the Freedom Community Center aims to propel its work advocating for systemic change.


    2023 Grantees

    Beyond the Bars
    Miami Gardens, FL

    Black Voters Matter
    Fulton County, GA

    Center for Policing Equity
    St. Louis, MO

    Chicago Appleseed
    Cook County, IL

    Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
    Los Angeles, CA

    DC Fiscal Policy Institute
    Washington, DC

    Forward Through Ferguson
    St. Louis City and County, MO

    Freedom Community Center
    St. Louis, MO

    Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association
    Cuyahoga County, OH

    Homeward Bound
    Dallas County, TX

    Sacramento, CA

    Innovate Memphis
    Memphis, TN

    Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice
    Washtenaw County, MI

    Just Communities Arizona
    Pima County, AZ

    Justice Management Institute
    New Orleans, LA

    Mediation and Restorative Services
    Anoka County, MN

    People of Progression
    Outagamie County, WI

    Phoenix Youth and Family Services
    Ashley County, Bradley County, Chicot County, Desha County, and Drew County, AR

    Project Curate
    Harris County, TX

    Pillars of the Community
    San Diego, CA

    Safer Foundation
    Cook County, IL

    San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project
    San Francisco, CA

    Starting Over, Inc.
    Riverside County, CA

    Denver, CO

    United Way of South Central Michigan
    Jackson County, MI