Eight governors, along with other elected officials from across the country and on both sides of the aisle, will take action this week to join the Face to Face initiative, a national call to action encouraging policymakers to personally engage with the people who are closest to the correctional system.
News and Announcements
On the heels of new data showing massive reductions in the number of youth incarcerated, legislators, judges, juvenile justice administrators and other representatives from all 50 states will meet Monday to tackle the next big challenge: making sure supervision and services provided in the correctional facilities and in the community reduce the likelihood youth will be rearrested and end up in the adult criminal justice system.
Few States Know Whether Youth Released from Facilities are Subsequently Enrolled in Public School or Go On to Graduate High School NEW YORK—Nov. 5, 2015—A first-of-its-kind report released today by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center found that […]
A first-of-its-kind study comparing Texas youth with nearly identical characteristics shows that juveniles under community-based supervision are far less likely to reoffend than those incarcerated in state correctional facilities, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, in partnership with Texas A&M University, announced today.
Three years after enacting comprehensive reforms to its criminal justice system, North Carolina is showing significant signs of success from its data-driven, “justice reinvestment” approach, according to a report released today by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center.
The Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) announced plans for a comprehensive analysis of Salt Lake County’s jail population in an effort to identify ways to reduce re-offense rates among people released from jail and design strategies to improve outcomes for the large portion of the jail population struggling with mental and substance abuse disorders.
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, along with the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), today released two publications explaining what state and local governments can do to improve outcomes for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.
District Attorney Susan Reed of Bexar County, Texas has been appointed to the Council of State Governments Justice Center’s (CSG Justice Center) Board of Directors.
Justice Center in the News
The Wyoming Legislature passed a slate of bills aimed at tackling criminal justice reinvestment in Wyoming. Based on recommendations from the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, formed after a nearly year-long study, the bills offer science-based solutions to the pressures on the state’s prison system.
Since joining Stepping Up in 2016, Dakota County has made multiple key changes, said Angela Lockhart, the county’s integrated service delivery coordinator. About 15 other Minnesota counties are also part of the program, including Ramsey, Carver, Scott, and Hennepin.
On Monday, Cleveland County became one of a handful of Oklahoma counties to pass a Stepping Up resolution to commit to reducing the number of people with mental illness in jail. According to the Stepping Up website, Cleveland County may be only the third in the state to adopt this resolution, with the other two being Grant and Tulsa counties.
Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton is the project director for the Ohio Stepping Up initiative. Instead of addressing mental illness in jails on a county-by-county basis, Stratton said, Ohio is tackling the problem on a statewide basis. Including Champaign County, there are currently 45 counties in Ohio participating in the initiative.
From 2004 to 2014, the rate in Louisiana of people who returned to prison within three years of their release decreased by 12 percent, according to a national justice organization’s November report on prisoners affected by Second Chance Act programs. The report shows that almost 39 of every 100 such former inmates in Louisiana returned to prison within a three year window in 2004, but in 2014, 34 per 100 did.
Like law enforcement agencies everywhere, the St. Paul Police Department gets a lot of calls for mental health crises, which take a lot of officers’ time and cost a lot of money. So far this year, Ramsey County dispatchers have handled almost 6,000 calls involving mental health. That’s about 2 percent of incoming 911 calls.
Since joining Stepping Up, both Douglas and Champaign counties in Kansas have implemented mental health screenings in jail to get beyond guesswork and make more informed decisions about the strategies needed to have a measurable impact on the number of people with mental illnesses in their jails. Both counties were also named Stepping Up Innovator Counties for their recent efforts to accurately identify people with serious mental illnesses and collect related data.
State directors and staff in the fields of public safety, mental health, social services, and corrections are rolling out implementations of the state Justice Reinvestment Initiative. It aims to turn around Missouri’s rising incarceration rates by investing in treatment and other services rather than in prisons.
Throughout the country, in places as diverse as Tucson, Miami, and Milwaukee, people are finding ways to get those with diseases such as schizophrenia, PTSD, and bipolar disorder the help they need rather than locking them up. Common among all approaches is a willingness to address the problem across systems—from the courtroom to the jail to treatment and housing.
While governors set the tone and the general direction of a state’s destiny, it is the legislature they work with — independent and made of dozens of independent minds — that controls the flow of the conversation.