Justice Reinvestment is a data-driven approach to improve public safety, reduce corrections and related criminal justice spending, and reinvest savings in strategies that can decrease crime and reduce recidivism.

State policymakers are grappling with a unique combination of public safety challenges, including upticks in violent crime, the opioid epidemic, people who have mental illnesses in the justice system, high rates of recidivism, and the high cost of corrections, all while trying to improve services for victims and increase opportunities for people returning to communities from jail and prison. To tackle these issues, more than 30 states have partnered with CSG Justice Center to use the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).

JRI is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts and utilizes criminal justice, behavioral health, and other reentry experts from the CSG Justice Center to:

  • Collect data that is often siloed and under-analyzed to spotlight the most pressing trends and drivers of crime, recidivism, and costs;
  • Meet with a range of stakeholders and assess statutes, policies, and current practices;
  • Deliver findings and recommendations to state leaders and stakeholders in clear, compelling, and actionable presentations;
  • Help address implementation challenges once changes are adopted; and
  • Establish an ongoing data monitoring process.

States receiving technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center

Justice Reinvestment News

Key Staff


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Elizabeth Lyon
Director, State Initiatives
Elizabeth K. Lyon oversees the technical support provided to states implementing justice reinvestment legislation. Since joining the CSG Justice Center in 2012, Elizabeth has provided tailored technical assistance to and worked with leaders in eight states to ensure that the
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policies enacted achieve the projected outcomes to reduce spending on corrections and to reinvest in strategies to improve public safety. Previously, Elizabeth was the director of governmental relations for the State Bar of Michigan, where she directed the public policy program that included a large state and federal agenda. She holds a BA from the James Madison College at Michigan State University.
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Grace Beil Call
Program Director, State Initiatives
Grace Beil Call works to improve the administration of state victim programs—including assistance, compensation, and restitution—by working with federal, state, and local leaders. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she was a visiting fellow for the Office for Victims
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of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice as well as directed the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program for the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy in Washington state. Grace also previously led the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She started her work with victims as a volunteer at the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received her BS in gender studies from the University of Utah.
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Ellen Whelan-Wuest
Deputy Program Director, State Initiatives
Ellen Whelan-Wuest provides policy research, analysis, and technical assistance to states going through the justice reinvestment process. Previously, she worked for the county manager in Durham, North Carolina, where she served on the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee and researched issues
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relating to medical care costs for the county jail system and the youth home detention facility. Ellen also worked as the Brooklyn director for a New York State Senator, and as a special assistant to the state director for a U.S. Senator in Chicago. Ellen holds a BA in Latin American history and sociology from Middlebury College, and an MA in public policy from Duke University.
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Carl Reynolds
Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, Research
Carl Reynolds helps manage and develop projects related to court initiatives, corrections, sentencing reform, and juvenile justice issues. Previously, Carl served as director of the Texas Office of Court Administration. From 1997 to 2005, he was general counsel for the
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Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), responsible for prisons, probation, and parole. He also was general counsel to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice—the governing body for TDCJ. Prior to that position, he was the executive director of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission, general counsel to the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, director of the Senate's redistricting staff, and a briefing attorney for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Among other projects, he works on the establishment and evaluation of public defender offices and on justice reinvestment strategies. Carl holds a JD from the University of Texas School of Law, an MA from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a BA from the University of Cincinnati.
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