LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Ingham County is now one of a handful of counties around the country using a new partnership to create change in the criminal justice system.

The prosecutor’s office says they’re closer to getting the resources they need to learn more about conviction and sentencing trends and hopefully using what they learn to create some change.

Prosecutor Carol Siemon says the office been collecting data on mass incarceration for a while but needed someone to look for trends in that data and find the problems in the system. As part of the Reshaping Prosecution program through the VERA Institute of Justice, they’ll now have someone to do just that.

“We just don’t really know what they are, and it’s true about so many things,” Siemon says. “Unless you really know the scope of the problem, you don’t know how to effectively address it. You’re just guessing.”

The office will also do another supplemental project called Motion for Justice to address racial inequity and combat institutional racism through new policy. Siemon says they plan to work with community partners in Lansing that deal specifically with racial justice and equity as they collect the data. This way, they can spot trends faster and hear directly from the community about what the biggest concerns are and how to fix them.