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Reducing Jail Populations, Improving Communities: A Strategic Approach for Justice Reinvestment at the Local Level

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $349,396)

The Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Program: National Initiatives, administered by the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), furthers the Department's mission by assisting state and local jurisdictions in improving the criminal justice system and assisting communities in preventing drug abuse and crime. In FY 2008, the program will focus on funding local, regional, and national efforts within five major categories: 1) preventing crime and drug abuse; 2) enhancing local law enforcement; 3) enhancing local courts; 4) enhancing local corrections and offender reentry; and 5) facilitating justice information sharing.

The Urban Institute (UI) will implement this project under Category 4: Enhancing Local Corrections and Offender Reentry. UI will partner with three jurisdictions to develop, implement, and evaluate a local data-driven, collaborative, strategic plan to achieve meaningful reductions in their jail populations and to guide the reinvestment of jail reduction savings into more proactive public safety measures in the community. UI will identify sites that demonstrate the leadership, willingness, and readiness to engage in an ambitious strategic planning process. Baseline analyses of past and current community and criminal justice resources, population characteristics, and practices will enable UI to guide local planners in the development of a comprehensive jail reduction plan as well as a list of feasible justice reinvestment alternatives. UI will evaluate the strategic planning process in each site, documenting the challenges and successes experienced by each site.


Date Created: September 23, 2008