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  • Cohort 2021

    Texas Center for Justice and Equity

    Understanding the Role the Policing-Prosecution Relationship Can Play in Perpetuating Racial Disparities

    Houston and Harris County, TX

    The criminal justice system is a complicated institution comprising many entities and people that collectively sustain and perpetuate systemic racial injustice. While researchers have examined the disproportionate arresting, incarceration, and sentencing of communities of color, research on how certain justice decisionmakers’ interactions with one another drive racial inequities is limited.

    With Catalyst Grant funding, Texas Center for Justice and Equity acquired, cleaned, and analyzed datasets from the Harris County District Clerk and the Houston Police Department to understand policing and prosecutorial practices in Houston and the broader county. It compared discrepancies and similarities across case-level data for filed criminal charges and law enforcement data on patrol locations. Its analysis explored whether and how decisions made between law enforcement and prosecutors exacerbate the disproportionate racial impact of their respective policies. The center will publish a final report summarizing its findings, which will be used to drive data-driven policymaking and advance reform efforts locally.

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