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  • Cohort 2023

    United Way of South Central Michigan

    Identifying Racial Disparities in Charging and Sentencing Outcomes

    Jackson County, MI

    Black and Latinx people are disproportionately represented in the US prison and jail populations and are more likely than white people to be charged with crimes carrying heavier sentences. In addition, prosecutors are more likely to charge Black defendants with habitual offender laws, which result in harsher penalties for minor offenses for people with multiple convictions. In Jackson County, Michigan, there are no available local data with which to determine whether these types of disparities exist.

    With Catalyst Grant funding, United Way of South Central Michigan will serve as fiduciary to support the work of the Decriminalization of Poverty (DOP) Action Team. The DOP Action Team is structuring this project like Citizens for Racial Equity in Washtenaw’s report on racial disparities in Washtenaw County to look for racial disparities in how people of color are sentenced in the Jackson County legal system. Focusing on 2017–2020 circuit court felony data, the DOP Action Team will investigate the data using a highly trained statistician. The final report will be disseminated to stakeholders and the Jackson County community and will be used in work with the prosecutor’s office, local Judges, and other members of the local court system as necessary to address identified disparities.


    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