Pushing Forward: Prosecution Reform and Racial Equity across Six Counties

6 Sites Report 786x786


The reform prosecution movement faces a critical moment. As the nationwide uptick in violent crime emboldens their critics, reform prosecutors need continued support in pursuing agendas aligned with the communities that elected them.

In 2020, Vera's Reshaping Prosecution initiative began a partnership with six prosecutors' offices across the country: Boulder County, Colorado; Contra Costa County, California; DeKalb County, Georgia; Ingham County, Michigan; Ramsey County, Minnesota; and Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Selected for their commitment to pursuing reforms and the capacity to execute them, these partners worked with Vera to develop a systemic approach to justice that examines racial disparities and seeks collaboration with their communities to develop solutions.

Despite their engagements running through the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 racial justice movement, all of Vera’s partners made significant strides—including a groundbreaking policy in Ramsey County, Minnesota, inspired by Philando Castile’s death, to deter non-public-safety (pretextual) traffic stops.

Key Takeaway

Significant racial disparities driven by societal factors exist in criminal legal systems across the country. Prosecutors and communities can use these disparities to start conversations about solutions that make everyone safer.

Publication Highlights

  • Significant racial disparities driven by social factors exist in criminal legal systems across the country.

  • Prosecutors across six jurisdictions examined disparities and are working with communities to highlight potential solutions.

  • Eliminating non-public safety traffic stops can reduce disparities without impacting public safety.

Key Facts