April 15, 2024

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm, Pacific Time

Using Prosecutorial Discretion to Promote Racial Justice & Transparency in Indiana

Join us for a presentation from Monroe County, Indiana Prosecutor Erika Oliphant and Indiana University Paul H. O’Neil Professor Eric Grommon about their award-winning research examining prosecutorial decision making and the potential impacts on racial and ethnic disparities in the county. 

The research project, sponsored by a grant from Arnold Ventures, describes the use of prosecutorial discretion for traffic and misdemeanor cases from charging through sentencing, documenting racial and ethnic disparities across decision-making, assessing local diversion policy and practices, and providing public-facing data to promote transparency and accountability. A partnership between the county Prosecutor's Office, local chapter of the NAACP, and Indiana University O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the project is critical—and unique—because research often focuses on large cities rather than areas that are representative of counties nationwide. “The justice system often falls short of its constitutional duties to be fair and impartial to everyone," Prosecutor Oliphant noted. "I truly believe this type of assessment is simply the right thing to do and helps us find ways to improve the system while increasing public transparency about what we are doing.”