Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $6,501,580)
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center requests $4.4 million from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to assist up to two states to pursue a Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) process. JRI is a data-driven approach that helps states identify and respond to system-spanning criminal justice questions through data analysis; stakeholder engagement; and a comprehensive review of justice policies, practices, and outcomes. Through JRI, states identify drivers of criminal justice resource consumption, realign those resources to improve public safety and recidivism-reduction outcomes, and enhance overall system performance.
Since March 2020, state and local justice systems have been dramatically destabilized. Crime data trend lines have veered across the charts, and states must now recalibrate their projections to create responsive plans. The contours of states’ new normal are neither fully known nor completely fixed. JRI is a tested process to addresses these needs simultaneously through a rigorous, comprehensive effort that provides a full picture of the demands being made of states’ justice systems and possible solutions. Critically, JRI engages leaders from all branches of government—and stakeholders from across and outside the justice system—to arrive at consensus-based solutions.
The CSG Justice Center will provide intensive support to state governments pursuing JRI by increasing familiarity with and assessing readiness for JRI; providing up to two new states with Phase I technical assistance, including state-specific analyses of criminal justice trends and additional data analysis, stakeholder engagement, and the development of policy options that aim to reduce recidivism and crime; providing up to two new states with Phase II technical assistance to effectively implement policies and programs; administering Phase II subaward implementation grants in up to two states; and collecting data from Phase II states to determine and monitor the effectiveness of the implemented policies, programs, and reinvestments. In each state, the CSG Justice Center will provide publications that summarize the JRI project; deliver comprehensive presentations that reflect data analysis, stakeholder engagement and evidence-based solutions; a communications plan that includes a Face to Face video; a comprehensive implementation plan; and more.
Since helping to spearhead JRI, the CSG Justice Center has worked with over 30 states. The CSG Justice Center’s JRI team includes well-seasoned staff who have facilitated a JRI process successfully year over year and borrow from their depth of experience across states.