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Indiana Supreme court to mandate racial tracking in court system

Video Credit: WLFI - Published
Indiana Supreme court to mandate racial tracking in court system
Indiana Supreme court to mandate racial tracking in court system
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Courts will be implementing a rule to track ethnicity when filing court cases.

This is one way state leaders are hoping to get to the root of racial disparities happening within the criminal justice system.

News 18's micah upshaw spoke with tippecanoe county prosecutor pat harrington who tells us how it'll work.

00-05 :21 :26 ll intro: earlier this month indiana supreme court justice loretta rush wrote a letter in response to the nationwide protests fighting for racial- equality.

In it, she called out the racial disparities happening right within our justice system.

State leaders are hoping by being able to track a person's ethnicity -- they can discover exactly where racial injustice is happening.

P: any kind of information, any kind of traffic ticket or criminal case is entered into the electric filing system that's one of the data points that has to be listed before the case can be filed.

M: this indiana supreme court mandate was created for informational purposes.

Now tippecanoe county prosecutor pat harrington joins a number of court leaders hoping this helps identify racial injustice taking place within their county.

P: i think this software system is important, i think all data is relevant and it's important to understand and interpret it so you know what's going on there.

M: the indiana supreme court office of judicial administration is mandating that all courts implement the tracking rule by the harrington reports at least 25% of the state has already started implementing that data.

But the covid-19 pandemic has played a role in slowing the process.

He says this mandate came well before the protests and demonstrations.

P: the system was started before, this just didn't start yesterday they had to do a lot of research in the software then had to roll it out.

They had hoped to be fully up and running by february but covid-19 hit and what i received the information was through that they have fallen behind.

M: in addition to capturing the race of individuals with court cases.

Harrington says officers will also be documenting the ethnicity of those ticketed during traffic stops.

He's interested in seeing what this data will uncover as studied begin next year.

P: i'm looking forward to seeing the data they're interpreting across the state i think this is going to be another valuable piece of information so we can keep improving the system and go forward.

M: reporting in tippecanoe county, micah upshaw.

Tippecanoe county clerk julie roussays the county is operating under the states newest filing system.

Harrington said the rule will be required in every county by the end of the year.





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Credit: WLFIPublished