Tracking Enforcement Rates in Louisville, 2009-2016

This report was produced through the Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice (the “Research Network”), a project of the Data Collaborative for Justice. The Research Network is comprised of researcher-practitioner partnerships in seven jurisdictions committed to producing data, research and scholarly work on misdemeanor enforcement trends. The goal of the Network is to inform policy at the local and state levels as well as a national discourse on the role of misdemeanor enforcement in supporting public safety, trust and confidence in the criminal justice system, and racial equity.

Using data provided by the Louisville Metro Police Department, this report examines trends for six types of enforcement actions between 2009 and 2016: felony arrests; misdemeanor arrests; misdemeanor citations; moving violation arrests; moving violation citations; and bench warrants. The report provides raw numbers as well as rates for these actions and also assesses these actions by demographic characteristics (age, gender, race/ethnicity).

Key Findings:

  • The overwhelming majority (91.9%) of enforcement actions from 2009-2016 were for non-felony offenses.
  • The rate of moving violation citations was consistently the highest enforcement rate, followed by misdemeanor arrests, misdemeanor citations, bench warrant arrests, felony arrests, and moving violation arrests.
  • Over the study period, 18-20-year-olds and Hispanics experienced the greatest amount of fluctuation in enforcement rates.
  • Men had higher enforcement rates compared to women; the youngest age groups had higher rates than older age groups; and Blacks and Hispanics had higher rates compared to Whites. However, these gaps narrowed over time and the differences were smaller in 2016 than in 2009.