Using Local Innovation to Address Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice Programs

Upcoming Event
August 9, 2022, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, Eastern

Hosted by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center

As communities across the country seek to implement effective criminal justice programs to enhance public safety and reduce recidivism, it is essential for local leaders to prioritize racial equity when developing, launching, and evaluating programs. While Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, they often do not receive equal access to criminal justice programs that can address their needs and improve successful outcomes. This discussion-based webinar, facilitated by the National League of Cities, will highlight local innovations in municipal criminal justice programs from Charlotte, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and St. Louis, Missouri. Participants will hear from local leaders about their successes and challenges in ensuring that race equity is embedded within comprehensive safety planning, violence interruption programs, and alternative/civilian response models. This webinar is intended for local stakeholders invested in launching programs at the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health that address racial inequities and disparate outcomes.


  • Kirby Gaherty, Program Manager, Justice Initiatives, National League of Cities
  • Tony McCright, Specialist, Justice Initiatives, National League of Cities


  • Julia Martin, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Charlotte
  • Frederico Rios, Assistant Director, Housing and Neighborhood Services Department, City of Charlotte
  • Gina Obiri, Program Manager, Office of Performance and Innovation, City of Minneapolis
  • Wilford Pinkney, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families for the City of St. Louis

CSG Justice Center Staff:

  • Jazmone Wilkerson, Project Manager, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center
  • Felicia Lopez Wright, Senior Policy Analyst, Behavioral Health, CSG Justice Center

bja logo

This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-ZB-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

You might also be interested in

With Bipartisan Support, the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Continues to Help People with Mental Health Needs

Fifteen years after its inception, the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) continues to support initiatives across…

Read More

Federal Spending Bill Funds Key Criminal Justice Programs

After months of delays and negotiations, Congress recently approved a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending package for Fiscal Year…

Read More