Rock County

Rock County 

Rock County is located in south Central Wisconsin along the Illinois border. The County has a population of 161,188 making it the ninth largest County in Wisconsin. Janesville, Wisconsin (pop. 64,009) is the county seat. Janesville is located on the I-39/90 corridor, forty miles south of Madison, seventy-six miles west of Milwaukee and about two hours from Chicago.

There were 3,210 criminal cases filed in Rock County in 2015 (Criminal Traffic: 562; Criminal Misdemeanor: 1471; Criminal Felony: 1177).  That same year, 5,894 individuals were booked into the Rock County Jail. Approximately 2400 individuals are on probation at any given time in Rock County.

EBDM Stakeholders

The EBDM policy team was formed as an ad hoc committee of the County Board to specifically focus on the EBDM initiative.  Collaboratively, using data and research, the committee intensively analyzed the justice system at each decision point. It continues to provide oversight of the development and implementation of the specific change targets arising from this process.  The committee contains specific stakeholders identified by NIC, many of whom are also members of the County’s long-standing Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC).  The Rock County CJCC was established by county board resolution in 2006 and advises the County Board on matters involving the criminal justice system. 

The EBDM policy team is comprised of a variety of stakeholders, including:

1. County administrator

2. Four circuit court judges

3. Court commissioner

4. District attorney

5. Wisconsin Department of Corrections representative

6. State public defender representative

7. County board

8. Sheriff’s Office

9. Two chiefs of police

10. Department of Human Services

11. Clerk of Courts

12. YWCA

13. NAACP, Beloit Chapter

Vision for EBDM

A fair justice system, reducing harm to all for a safer Rock County

Harm Reduction Goals

Rock County’s harm reduction goals include the following:

1. Enhance Public Safety, as evidenced by a 20% reduction in recidivism for low and medium risk offenders and a 10% reduction in recidivism for high risk offenders as measured by no new convictions three years after disposition of their criminal case by 2020.

2. Allocate Resources Effectively, as evidenced by an 80% pretrial court appearance rate, 10% reduction in jail bed days, 80% pretrial release success rate, 50% increase in enrollment in diversion programs, and 90% of low risk defendants released pending case disposition by 2020.

3. Promote Fairness, as evidenced by historically disadvantaged populations completing diversionary programs in equal proportion to others by 2018 and a 25% decrease in disproportionate minority population in the Rock County Jail by 2020.

Read more what stakeholders in Rock County are saying about the EBDM Initiative:

By applying evidence based practices to decisions made throughout the criminal justice process, our goals are to reduce recidivism through treatment when appropriate, to focus the use of our limited resources on those individuals who pose the greatest risk and thereby make Rock County a safer community.

– Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary

The Rock County Sheriff's Office is excited about the EBDM initiative and is committed to using evidence-based practices in its work.  We look forward to continuing our partnerships with state and local stakeholders to maintain public safety by using research driven principles to guide policy and practice decisions.

– Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden

Phase VI Application

For more information on the effort in Rock County:
Contact Elizabeth Pohlman McQuillen, Criminal Justice System Planner/Analyst, at