Pima County, YWCA awarded $500,000 to help fight justice system inequities

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:50 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Justice Services Department and the YWCA Southern Arizona have been awarded a combined $500,000 to search for ways to eliminate racial and ethnic inequities in Pima County’s local justice system.

The money comes from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and is apart of a two-year Safety and Justice Challenge, a $300 million national initiative to reduce overincarceration and address racial and ethnic disparities in local criminal justice systems.

The YWCA will focus on community engagement, including listening sessions and creating a racial justice center, as well as community investment through youth interventions and microgrants.

The Justice Services Department will aim to create new data management systems to better understand where disparities occur in the justice system and to implement data-driven decision making and targeted interventions.

“We recognize that it has taken generations to manifest the inequity and biases we see in our society today, and, in turn, it will take a significant amount of time to manifest the changes we wish to see,” said Kate Vesely, director of Pima County Justice Services.

Pima County was one of four jurisdictions selected to join the Safety and Justice Challenge’s Racial Equity Cohort. The other three locations include Cook County, Illinois, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

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