|Dearborn's prison admission rates far exceed nearby counties (NYT)|
Aaron Negangard, the elected prosecutor in Dearborn County, told the Times, “I am proud of the fact that we send more people to jail than other counties. That’s how we keep it safe here. . . . My constituents are the people who decide whether I keep doing my job. The governor can’t make me. The legislature can’t make me." In 2014, Dearborn County sent more people to prison than San Francisco, though the county had 49,904 people to San Francisco's 837,442. About 1 in 10 Dearborn County adults are in prison, jail or on probation.
Critics say some rural court systems are out of control, Wright reports. Peter Wagner, executive director of the Prison Policy Institute, which advocates reducing incarceration rates, told him, “Letting local prosecutors enforce state laws differently throws all notions of equality under the law out the window. This data puts governors and legislative leaders on notice that if they want to put criminal justice reforms into effect, they need to look at how prosecutors use and abuse their discretion.” (NYT graphic: Changes in incarceration by county size)