The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, is a grim reminder that we often experience two kinds of law enforcement, one that protects and another that frightens and controls. Working with our national partners, the ACLU of Indiana has been on the front lines educating the public about a number of issues that affect racial minorities.
The ACLU is committed to challenging the school to prison pipeline, a disturbing national trend wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems for behavior that should be handled inside the school. Students of color are especially vulnerable to the discriminatory application of discipline. We believe children should be educated, not incarcerated. Learn more
Through legislative advocacy, litigation, communications and other strategies, the ACLU's Smart Justice Fair Justice Campaign to Move Beyond Mass Incarceration and its coalition partners are working to harness the momentum for reform, teaming up with unlikely allies around the country to do whatever it takes to move away from mass incarceration. Learn more
Blacks in Indiana have become 3.4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Despite costing our state millions of dollars, the war on marijuana has failed to curb the use or availability of drugs, and has become a vehicle for police to target people of color. In enforcing senseless drug laws, including arrests for having a small amount of drugs, Blacks in Indiana have become 3.4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. Black residents of Elkhart County are 7 times more likely to be arrested; Floyd and Allen Counties are 6.4 times more likely and Knox and Hamilton more than 5.5 times more likely to be arrested for possession than whites. The war on marijuana disproportionately affects people of color and sweeps them into a net of correctional control that is difficult to escape. Read the report: The War on Marijuana in Black and White