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 the 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

Image for:
Elizabeth Lyon
Director, State Initiatives
Elizabeth K. Lyon directs the State Initiatives Division, which partners with local, state, and federal leaders to address site-specific challenges in the criminal justice system. The State Initiatives portfolio includes the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, improving outcomes for victims of crime,
increasing data collection and reporting, leveraging technology and research to reduce revocations, and other initiatives that help states create sustainable criminal justice improvements. Elizabeth joined the CSG Justice Center in 2012 and previously served as program director for implementation of Justice Reinvestment and as deputy division director. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Elizabeth was the director of governmental relations for the State Bar of Michigan, where she directed the public policy program. She holds a BA from the James Madison College at Michigan State University.
Read More
  • Image for:
    Grace Beil Call
    Deputy Division 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
    of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice and directed the Victims of Crime Act 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.
    Read More
  • Image for:
    Ellen Whelan-Wuest
    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
    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.
    Read More
  • Image for:
    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. Among other projects, he works on the establishment and evaluation of public defender offices and on Justice Reinvestment strategies. Previously, Carl served
    as director of the Texas Office of Court Administration. From 1997 to 2005, he was general counsel for the 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. Carl holds a BA from the University of Cincinnati, an MA from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a JD from the University of Texas School of Law.
    Read More