States Plan Data-Driven Criminal Justice Reform

Today the National Governors Association (NGA) announced that three states—ArizonaIllinois and Oregon—have been selected to participate in the National Criminal Justice Reform Project (NCJRP).

In partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association and funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the NCJRP will help those states with planning and implementation of data-driven, evidence-based reform focused on one or more of the following areas: pretrial reform, re-entry and offender recidivism, mental health and substance abuse, reducing incarceration and information sharing and integration of evidence-based practices across the justice system. Two additional states will be announced in early 2017.

Through the project, each state’s criminal justice policy advisor and criminal justice administering agency will lead teams of policymakers and key stakeholders to embed a strategic planning process for advancing and sustaining reforms within the state’s executive branch. That process will enable executive branch agencies to address priorities, enhance decision-making and achieve system-wide improvements in areas where governors can drive change.

In addition, as a part of the NCJRP, the NGA Center and the National Criminal Justice Association also announce the formation of the NCJRP Advisory Group, which will provide guidance and expertise throughout the duration of the project. Members of the advisory group include:

  • Tom Corbett, former governor of Pennsylvania;
  • Cabell Cropper, executive director, National Criminal Justice Association;
  • Michael Jacobson, executive director, City University of New York Institute for State and Local Governance;
  • Nancy La Vigne, director of the Justice Policy Center, Urban Institute;
  • Marc Levin, policy director, Right on Crime;
  • Judge Jonathan Lippman, Latham & Watkins LLP;
  • Laurie Robinson, Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University; and
  • Clay Yeager, senior vice-president, Evidence Based Associates.

The overarching goals of the project are to move all states toward wider adoption of evidence-based practices within criminal justice policymaking and to improve public safety by making criminal justice systems smarter, fairer and more cost-effective.

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