Race and Criminal Justice in Monroe County IN: A Long-Range Persective

 Race and Criminal Justice in Monroe County, Indiana: A Long-Range Perspective

Race and criminal justice in Monroe County have been concerns of the Monroe County Branch of the NAACP and the Racial Justice Task Force of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington for over 20 years.

Data from criminal cases filed in Monroe County between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 was obtained in November of 2019.  The first two reports based on analysis of that data are now available:

The previous report, initially published in 2018, reviews 2017 incarceration data in the context of historical data going back to 1997, and makes recommendations that, if adopted, should help identify and potentially reduce areas where Blacks are over-represented in criminal cases pursued or in sentencing outcomes.

Updated report: In 2019 Prosecutor Erika Oliphant clarified that the Pretrial Diversion Program has always had an option for fee waiver if someone cannot afford to pay the fees.  There is an application for fee waiver, it is not automatic. The PDP recommendations in the Executive Summary and Section 5.2.1 were updated accordingly.

Email comments to Guy Loftman guy@nullloftmanlaw.com or Ruth Aydt aydt@nullicloud.com.

Timeline:

  • 12/12/2018 – Press conference at Second Baptist Church annex to discuss the report.
  • 2/12/2019 – Report findings presented by William Morris, Esq. at State of the Black Community meeting, covered by the IDS and the Herald Times.
  • 4/24/2019 – Report findings discussed with the Monroe County Human Rights Commission.
  • 11/5/2019 – New version of report released with updates to PDP recommendations (Executive Summary and Section 5.2.1).
  • 1/21/2020 – January 2020 Update completed.

Related Activities:

In 2019, Monroe County began a Comprehensive Criminal Justice Review.  Read about this activity and find links to recorded community conversations here.  An HT article (subscription required) provides background on why the review is being undertaken.

The UU Hope for Prisoner’s Task Force hosted the event “A Comprehensive Look at Criminal Justice in Monroe County” on November 20th, 2019.   For details, including a link to the video of the event, see: http://uubloomington.org/monroe-county-criminal-justice