Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
This proposal seeks consideration under priority 1A; the plan to respond to this is documented on pages 8 and 9 of the proposal narrative. Wilco Transformative Justice will address issue #2: Addressing a precipitous increase in crime. The county has grown dramatically over the past two census cycles. Since 2000, Williamson County’s population has grown 157%, from 249K+ to 643K+ residents; it is the among the nation’s fastest growing counties. With new residents hailing from the nation’s most densely urban centers, new felony court cases added to the docket have increased 217% since 2019 alone.
An expansion of a 2019 pilot, Wilco Transformative Justice will implement a pretrial diversion strategy that has several unique elements. They include:
Intensive, Personalized Case Management;
A Holistic Approach;
Support by/Connection to Community Resources; and
Total Expungement After Completion.
The desired outcome is to reduce recidivism among emergent adults. Steps leading to this outcome include:
Goal 1. Establish an innovative, pretrial diversion program that directly address the underlying mental health factors and dysfunctional family dynamics behind criminal activity;
Goal 2. Implement a pretrial diversion program that reduces recidivism by emergent adults (17-24);
Goal 3. Through its innovative program, Wilco Transformative Justice will transition participants to successful outcomes, including stable housing, enrollment in education, or employment, and
Goal 4. Conduct a multi-modal evaluation that measures program success and prepares it for potential replication and scale. The evaluation by the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University will be highlight program success and lessons learned, with an implementation framework/roadmap to scale. The evaluation will support continuous program improvement, prepare an impact study on participant outcomes, and create working documents to support program replication.
The proposed project will address the following allowable uses/activities (aligned with percentage of budget):
20%: Building alternative strategies and systems such as restorative justice approaches and diversion to better enhance outcomes for those in the criminal justice system;
40%: Increasing deflection and/or diversion opportunities, particularly at the pretrial phase;
30%: Enhancing collaboration across justice, behavioral health, and public health to address barriers for persons in the criminal justice system with substance abuse and/or mental health issue;
5%: Improving relationships between communities and the criminal justice system by building trust and confidence, increasing access to justice, and improving perceptions of fairness across the justice system; and
5%: Continuing innovative practices implemented during the pandemic.