Delaware and Vermont have joined the National Criminal Justice Reform Project being coordinated by the National Criminal Justice Association and the National Governors Association. They will join Illinois, Arizona, and Oregon, where work is underway. Funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the project is helping states plan and implement data-driven, evidence-based reform focused on pretrial reform, reentry and offender recidivism, mental health and substance abuse, reducing incarceration, and information sharing and integration of evidence-based practices across the justice system. Delaware and Vermont will both address mental health and substance use disorders for justice involved individuals and implement evidence-based practices. The Delaware initiative will focus on the inmate reentry process and reducing recidivism. Vermont will work on reforming pretrial release and the bail system.
Teams of policymakers and key stakeholders led by each state’s criminal justice policy advisor and the state criminal justice administering agency will develop a strategic planning process for advancing and sustaining reforms within the state’s executive branch. This process will enable executive branch agencies to address priorities, enhance decision-making and achieve system-wide improvements in areas where governors can drive change. The project’s goals are to move all states toward wider adoption of evidence-based practices in criminal justice policymaking and to improve public safety by making criminal justice systems smarter, fairer and more cost-effective.