Securing Equal Justice

Promoting Racial Equity in Prosecution

Prosecutors have enormous discretion to influence the outcome of a criminal case and, as a result, the course of someone’s life. The role that prosecutors have and continue to play in fueling mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on minorities is receiving closer scrutiny nationally.

For roughly a decade, beginning in 2005, district attorneys in Charlotte, Milwaukee, San Diego, Lincoln, Nebraska, and most recently Manhattan worked with us to take a step back and look at whether charging and plea decisions are influenced by race, leading black people, Latino people and other people from minority backgrounds to be punished more severely than white people for the same crimes. The method and lessons from these cities are captured in a detailed guide designed to help any district attorney’s office engage in the same type of self-reflection and reform.

Related Work

Dignity, Racial Justice, and Prosecution

Embracing human dignity; Correcting racial injustice; Reimagining prosecution

As the gatekeepers of the justice system, prosecutors wield a tremendous amount of power and are uniquely situated to stem the tide of mass incarceration and to ensure justice and fairness. While a wave of reform-minded district attorneys across the country are bringing increased awareness on both the need and potential for reform, true progress ca ...

  • Jamila Hodge
    Jamila Hodge

Series: Justice in Katrina's Wake

What will be different for New Orleans in the years to come?

“What is different?” That question rested on the lips of the many people—policymakers, journalists, and funders—who visited New Orleans to survey the city’s progress 10 years after Hurricane Katrina. Some described the physical rebuilding of the city—stronger, better, safer—or the spirit of the people: resilient. Others challenged these depictions, ...

Blog Post
  • Luceia LeDoux
  • Charmel Gaulden
October 21, 2015
Blog Post