American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Guide to Advancing Justice-Related Goals

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan offers an unprecedented opportunity for state and local leaders to invest in public health and safety programs and promote stronger, more equitable communities.

This guide outlines need-to-know information about how state and local leaders can leverage American Rescue Plan funding to advance eight key criminal justice priorities.

In March 2021, Congress passed a $1.9 trillion federal stimulus bill aimed at combatting the devastating economic and public health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan offers an unprecedented opportunity to invest in more effective and less costly approaches to public health and safety. Specifically, states and local communities can leverage American Rescue Plan resources to spur long-term, system-wide improvements—including strategies to reduce justice involvement, connect people to community-based services, and put people on a pathway to success. 

While every jurisdiction has its own unique needs and challenges, American Rescue Plan funding can help create and scale programs that will ultimately make communities safer, healthier, and more equitable.

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About the Authors


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Megan Quattlebaum
Director
As director of the CSG Justice Center, Megan Quattlebaum leads a staff of approximately 120 who work across an array of specialties that span the criminal justice continuum to develop research-driven strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities. Before
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joining the organization, Megan most recently served as a research scholar in law and the program director of the Justice Collaboratory at the Yale Law School, where she taught as well as developed and oversaw research projects and led the organization’s work on behalf of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice; she was also the Senior Liman Fellow in Residence for the Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law. She has also served as a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School. She has also served as a practicing criminal and civil defense attorney with Zuckerman Spaeder LLP in New York and an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow and attorney at the Neighborhood Legal Services Association in Pittsburgh. In addition, she clerked for the Hon. Julio M. Fuentes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her JD from the Yale Law School.
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    Marshall Clement
    Deputy Director, Policy and Strategic Planning
    Marshall Clement provides strategic leadership across the breadth of the CSG Justice Center’s policy and programmatic work to increase public safety and strengthen communities. Previously, Marshall served as the organization’s division director of state initiatives. Over a 13-year tenure at
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    the CSG Justice Center, Marshall led the growth and evolution of the Justice Reinvestment program, which assists policymakers seeking to reduce spending on corrections and reinvest these savings in strategies that lower recidivism rates and increase public safety. As part of this process, Marshall coordinated the work of a team of policy analysts and national experts to analyze corrections data and policy and develop policy options for policymakers in 27 states. He regularly facilitated meetings among judicial and state agency officials and testified before legislative committees in various states across the country; his findings have been used to inform policy initiatives that have enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support. Marshall received his BA in public policy with honors from Brown University.
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