Following an overview of the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), this report describes JRI reforms for fiscal years (FYs) 2016 and 2017 in the participating states of Idaho, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Dakota.
JRI is a data-driven process for improving public safety in a jurisdiction by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal justice resources in addressing factors that contribute to crime and recidivism. In FYs 2016 and 2017, BJA competitively selected grantees under a solicitation intended to “strengthen states’ JRI reform efforts by bolstering their investment and commitment to data-driven and evidence-based decision-making.” This grant program focused on the implementation of specific initiatives, unlike other state JRI efforts that focused on broad system reform, often through state legislation. The JRI grant programs for FYs 2016 and 2017 required the implementation of new policies and practices in the following five areas: 1) collaboration among key organizations in adopting changes designed under JRI analyses; 2) increased evidence-based decision-making; 3) expanded use of evidence-based programs to address specific needs; 4) sharing of data and information to guide policy and practice; and 5) examination of efforts to manage change in an organization’s policies or practices. BJA selected the Center for Effective Public Policy to provide technical assistance and training to the six state grantees. The report for each of the states addresses JRI program implementation, key benefits, outcomes to date and lessons learned, and next steps. Overall, the report concludes that each of the states has successfully implemented new initiatives, established necessary services, or engaged in other appropriate actions that are enabling the state to implement new initiatives and establish needed services. Each state had distinctive areas of focus, and all were successful in planning and implementing their initiatives.