As Douglas County leaders weigh possibly changing or eliminating the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s racial and ethnic disparities work group, some members of the council want the work to get more attention.
Almost one out of every three Black men ages 25-54 living in Douglas County were booked into the jail between 2017 and 2021.
That number is among findings in a recent report by the Vera Institute of Justice examining incarceration here.
Members of Douglas County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council want to hear from community members what issues they believe are most pressing in the local criminal legal system.
Researchers concluded that there is not widespread bias-based policing in Douglas County, but each law enforcement agency has areas of racial disparity and concern. Members of the Lawrence community have offered some feedback on how they can begin to improve.
Researchers have finished a draft report from a long-running law enforcement contact study, which has confirmed that Black drivers are 2.73 times more likely to get stopped than white drivers in Douglas County, and drivers of color are 1.72 times more likely to be searched.
Katy Fitzgerald has been selected as Douglas County’s new criminal justice coordinator, the county announced Thursday.
Douglas County District Court is planning to launch a self-help center that will be a go-to point for basic logistical questions, help people involved in eviction cases and more.
Black people are booked into the Douglas County jail at almost four times the rate of white people, and the incarceration rate of Black people in Douglas County is 6.5 times the rate of white people.
Members of Douglas County’s Behavioral Health Court shared how the program has progressed during the past four years and how administrators might further improve the program in the future during a meeting of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council on Tuesday.
Eighty percent of the people incarcerated in the Douglas County jail are there pretrial — meaning they haven’t been convicted and are presumed innocent. That’s just one takeaway from the inmate population data dashboard from the sheriff’s office.
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