FROM THE DIRECTOR
Looking back at 2020
By Megan Quattlebaum
December 23, 2020
Since the start of the pandemic, our staff has been in contact with hundreds of policymakers and practitioners across all 50 states to identify critical questions and share ideas and strategies. We helped promote and enable the use of data to inform prison release decisions, tracking positive cases by facility and working with state correctional leaders to model the impact of COVID-19 in their prisons. We compiled resource opportunities for struggling community nonprofits and developed new tools for corrections officials. And we pushed for our nation’s economic rebuilding to be inclusive, promoting the removal of barriers to people with records and successfully encouraging the federal Small Business Administration to allow business owners with criminal records to access COVID-19 relief funds.
Later in the year, George Floyd’s killing and the resulting protests led to a series of conversations for staff at the CSG Justice Center about how we are both advancing our internal diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and how we are making racial equity a priority in our external-facing efforts. Those discussions led to the hiring of a consultant to help us navigate ongoing discussions of equity within our organization. Working with our advisory board and other stakeholders, we also generated a host of new ideas about how to help our partners in states meet their own equity goals for their criminal justice systems. You can expect to see these grow into full-fledged initiatives in the coming months.
This year challenged our team in ways we couldn’t have imagined. But it allowed our foundational values and strengths to shine through in the toughest of circumstances. And it could not have been done without our amazingly dedicated staff and Advisory Board. We look forward to building upon our success and tackling new challenges in 2021.