Equity in Criminal Prosecutions: Analyzing Case Filings from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office

Blog post by Aaron Olson, Matt Nowlin, Jay Colbert and Matt Dietrich
March 23, 2023

The Polis Center   (Indianapolis)

Previous research from the Polis Center estimated that Black residents of Marion County were 2.7 times more likely to be jailed than their white counterparts in 2018 and 4.4 times more likely to be imprisoned in 2016. Significant progress has been made to narrow the racial gaps in both the prison and jail population, but that has slowed in recent years. Building off this research, Polis examined more than 283,000 bookings in Marion County jails between 2013 and 2021 to understand the jail population. Despite a significant drop in the jail population during the COVID-19 pandemic, jail levels have mostly returned to pre-pandemic numbers.