PROJECTCatalyst Grant Program



Southwest Center for Equal Justice

Analyzing Disparate Impact of the Flagstaff, Arizona, Criminal Legal System on Native Americans

Flagstaff, AZ

Research has shown that Native Americans are overrepresented in the US criminal legal system. They are overrepresented in jails and other secure facilities and are arrested at higher rates and incarcerated for longer than white people. These are also true in Flagstaff, Arizona, where Native Americans are more likely to be arrested and where three out of four people who reenter the system through arrest are Native American. More data are needed to understand the reasons for these racial disparities in the city’s criminal legal system.  

With Catalyst Grant funding, the Southwest Center for Equal Justice will investigate arrests and prosecutions of people who have reentered the system by being rearrested. It will identify and analyze the results of each discretionary decision point from arrest through sentencing by investigating the reasons for multiple arrests, the validity of charges, the circumstances of arrests, and the prosecutorial system’s role in whether people continue through the system. With this data, the center hopes to explore racial disparities in the Flagstaff criminal legal system, challenge stereotypes, educate the community, and propose recommendations for alternative programs, eventually diverting people from punitive responses.   


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