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New Reports: Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Prosecutorial Process

Close-up of golden statue depicting blindfolded Lady Justice with the scales of justice in one hand a sword in another.

A series of new reports, developed through the Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboards project, provide Colorado District Attorneys’ Offices with a more in-depth understanding of racial and ethnic differences in their prosecution processes. The new reports, which build on data publicly available through data dashboards, offer a deeper dive into key points of prosecutorial discretion to understand whether there are differences in outcomes across individuals of different races/ethnicities.

Overall, results show evidence of disproportionality, meaning that more Hispanic and Black individuals were arrested than expected given the population. The reports also show some evidence of disparity at points of prosecutorial discretion throughout the criminal justice process.

Colorado is the first state in the country to have multiple prosecutors’ offices working together to provide this type of in-depth data. This bipartisan effort, rooted in a systems framework, helps District Attorneys’ Offices to identify and prioritize actions. “These new additions to our data dashboard project help bolster our ongoing commitment of being transparent, open, and honest with our community,” noted 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner. “We recognize the importance of monitoring disparities in the criminal justice system and increasing prosecutorial transparency and accountability. This project helps us identify potential disparities so we can take action in addressing them and ensure fair treatment for all victims and defendants.”

You can learn more about the Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboards project on our website or contact Dr. Lauren Gase.

Media Coverage

See media coverage about the new reports on racial and ethnic differences in prosecution processes.

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