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The over-policing of communities of color has been at the forefront of social and criminal justice reform movements in recent years. The desire to address policing in the U.S. is closely linked to the proliferation of officer-involved shootings of, and physical altercations with, Black men and women. Notably, less attention has been given to the over-prosecution of these groups. While prosecutors have the ability to divert individuals away from justice system involvement, over-policing of some communities may have indirect effects on the likelihood of prosecution. Merely living in a particular zip code may increase an individual’s chances of criminal justice contact. Given the emphasis on efficiency in case processing, this may lead to compounded disadvantage for defendants, particularly for those from communities experiencing the greatest socioeconomic and structural deficits. This study examines the impact of residency on over-prosecution. Specifically, this project identifies sociocultural characteristics of over-prosecuted communities, clarifies offenses most commonly over-prosecuted, and explores whether policies can mitigate these issues, with particular attention given mitigation of non-violent drug and gun possession offenses. Registration Link:


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