Transforming the System


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Reducing inequality in prosecution

Prosecutorial practices should uphold our commitment to equal justice for all. This requires an explicit commitment to racial equity in the prosecutorial decision-making process. Frequently, prosecutors do not treat African Americans as well as whites, either as criminal defendants or victims of crime.

In a series of pilot projects, the Vera Institute of Justice is working with select prosecutors to remedy such discriminatory policies and practices through its Prosecution and Racial Justice Program. Prosecutors’ office should take affirmative steps to reduce racial inequities.

The Department of Justice, Congress, local and state legislatures, and prosecutors’ offices should ensure that there is fairness in the prosecutorial decision-making process by adopting the following practices:

  • Routine implicit bias training for prosecutors;
  • Routine review of data metrics to expose racial disparities with the aim of promptly addressing them;
  • Increased funding for additional programs similar to the Vera initiative;
  • Incorporation of racial impact review in performance review for individual prosecutors.

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