Wisconsin's Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils (CJCCs) were created through local planning efforts. As a network of 37 CJCCs, they work at the county and city level to address pressing criminal and juvenile justice issues. Despite the fact that these planning bodies are neither statutorily created nor have legally defined missions or memberships, Wisconsin's CJCCs have a great deal of organizational and representational variation. These planning bodies are the foundation for involved communities to fully assess the needs of their local criminal justice system and develop programming and practices to respond to identified needs. In addition to coordinating with traditional and nontraditional system partners, many CJCCs have also moved beyond planning and taken on oversight and policy development functions. These efforts in many counties are bolstered by the involvement of both elected officials and non-traditional partners like health and human service agencies, non-profit service providers and local public defenders.
As part of the Justice Programs Unit's strategy to assist counties with creating or expanding local planning bodies, the state has made available hundreds of thousands of Byrne JAG dollars. Although the majority of planning grants are for $10,000-$50,000, the office has provided councils looking to take on cross-system change or implement multi-agency initiatives with as much as $100,000 in Byrne JAG funds.
Examples of some of these larger programs include a Risk Reduction Treatment Court that focuses on repeat offenders with underlying substance abuse and mental health issues, the expansion of a deferred prosecution program for low risk offenders and the expansion of a pilot risk assessment screening initiative. In addition, our unit looks to its local CJCCs to help set statewide priorities through their participation in the statewide criminal justice coordination council. When looking at grant applications from city and county partners Justice Programs puts weight behind CJCC involvement or buy-in as evidenced through their partnership or letters of support. Although not a statewide network, the Justice Programs Unit hopes to continue expanding the number of local CJCC partners in the coming years.
Recognizing the importance of cross-system communication and the success of many of the local CJCCs, Governor Scott Walker mandated the creation of the state's first executive level Criminal Justice Coordinating Council . Staffed by the Justice Programs Unit, this Council is tasked with planning initiatives and promoting policies that reduce recidivism, cut the future growth of correctional institutions, and improve coordination among all state law enforcement agencies.
Page updated: 08/21/2013