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Local Justice Reinvestment: Strategies, Outcomes, and Keys to Success

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2016
24 pages
Erika Parks; Samantha Harvell; Lindsey Cramer; Abigail Flynn; Hanna Love; Caroline Ross
This brief documents work done through the completion of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), identifies common themes across the local participating sites, summarizes policy strategies implemented, documents outcomes to date, and highlights keys to successful reform.
The JRI has had a lead role in justice system reform efforts across the country. It has promoted and guided reform by facilitating a data-driven approach in which jurisdictions receive funding and technical assistance in developing innovative and cost-effective reform efforts that identify and address drivers that contribute to escalating corrections populations and expensive but ineffective corrections policies and practices. The Urban Institute collected information for this brief by reviewing document data from 17 local JRI sites, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders and technical assistance (TA) providers in local JRI sites, in-person observations of working group meetings and site programming, and data tracking and analysis. The researchers concluded that the implementation of JRI in the 17 sites has been effective in achieving reform goals. Diverse JRI sites from across the Nation have committed to using a data-driven approach to understand how their local justice systems are functioning and have identified policy strategies that could produce better public-safety returns on investment. Reforms have been implemented, and their progress and outcomes have been tracked. The wide-ranging reforms have encompassed improving data capacity, finding better ways to address the needs of offenders, reforming pretrial processes, and implementing evidence-based supervision practices. Reinvestment has not uniformly produced savings that can be easily quantified and directly reinvested in other public functions; however, findings suggest that many local sites have improved the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. 1 table, 1 figure, 9 references, and 37 notes

Date Created: August 26, 2016