Each year more Wisconsin counties are developing local Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils (CJCC) to problem solve around justice system and public safety issues in their communities. An effective collaborative team can bring about improvements and new initiatives that cannot be achieved by a single agency or organization (i.e. problem solving courts, utilization of risk assessment tools, community service programs, diversion programs, etc.). Coordinating councils provide the necessary foundation for communities to fully assess the needs of the local criminal justice system and develop programming and practices in response to these needs. Judges play a critical role in these collaborative teams by convening the appropriate justice system leaders and offering a unique perspective of the system and its impacts from an objective and neutral vantage point. Currently, over half the counties in Wisconsin have an operational CJCC.
The Outreach and Communication Subcommittee was created to facilitate the further development of local CJCCs and to promote communication between the State CJCC and local CJCCs. The charge of the subcommittee is to effectively communicate the work of the Council to and regularly obtain input from members of the public and criminal justice stakeholders across the state and implement strategies to ensure open communication between county CJCCs and the State CJCC.
Enhanced State and Local Collaboration and Evidence Based Decision Making in Wisconsin's Criminal Justice System
The Wisconsin Counties Association produced a webinar with members from the State EBDM Team and the Chippewa County EBDM Team. The Teams discussed their work to enhance collaboration and coordinate efforts to improve the criminal justice system at both the local and state levels. The initiatives highlighted include: 1) Expansion of state and local criminal justice coordinating councils (CJCCs); 2) Expansion of the state Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program; and 3) State and local participation in the National Institute of Corrections' Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) Initiative.