The national study by the advocacy group Women Donors Network found 95 percent of the country’s elected prosecutors are white and 80 percent male. Ohio is no different. All of Ohio’s 88 county prosecutors are white, just 12 of those are women.
“Something is definitely askew when you look at these figures and you think about the diversity of our state’s population to not see hardly any diversity in this particular office,” says Jason Reece, associate director at Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute, which studies racial and ethnic disparities.
Prosecutors hold a lot of power: they decide whether to bring indictments to a grand jury, whether to charge a case as a felony and what kinds of sentences should be recommended or negotiated.
“I think you have to consider how this relates to things like the incarceration divide that we see in our state today,” Reece says.