Marion County Report Overview

Marion County has a long history of overly aggressive policing and prosecution strategies that have entangled far too many Black and Latino men and women in the criminal justice system, without making the community safer. County officials have long failed to follow best practices for preventing violence, diverting people out of the criminal justice system, and reducing the number of people behind bars.


This LIVE FREE County Best Practices Scorecard provides a snapshot of the policies and practices that are decimating Marion’s communities of color through irresponsible prosecution of young Black and Latino men and women, setting bail that average community members cannot afford, private prison profiteering and refusing to hold law enforcement officers accountable for police misconduct and murder. The truth is that there’s a Ferguson in Marion County, Indiana. Download the complete scorecard to see the results.


Marion County’s elected officials are responsible for the safety and well-being of all people in the county. But historically they have pursued policies that cycle large number of Black and Latino men and women through the criminal justice system and effectively criminalize whole communities. Mayor Hogsett’s public recognition that the criminal justice system in Marion County is broken and his commitment to make major policy changes in this area, represents an important opportunity to improve life in Indianapolis for all residents. Download a complete summary of Marion’s failing policies.


There is a better way forward for Marion County. Change is possible, but only if local officials commit to eliminate glaring racial disparities in policing and prosecution. As the best practices in this report show, real reform goes beyond moving people from jail to community supervision. It requires dramatically reducing the number of people of color involved in the criminal justice system in the first place. Download the full report and jump to page 14 for a policy guide of best practices.