Christine Cole, Executive Director

Welcome to CJI’s new email newsletter! We’re excited to share highlights of CJI’s work AND to connect more with you – our partners and supporters – as we continue to bridge the gap between research and practice in the criminal justice system.

You’ve been added to our list by either me or another CJI staff member because we think you’re an important part of our work. If you do NOT wish to be on our list, please feel free to scroll down to the end of this email and unsubscribe. We’ll miss you here and also know we'll stay engaged with you in other ways! One way to stay engaged is to make sure you follow us on Twitter .

Each quarter, we’ll share a few CJI updates, a project we’re working on, and a variety of research, resources, and stories that we hope you’ll find useful and interesting.

This issue features the extraordinary work of our juvenile justice team in multiple states. Also, be sure to check out the CJI highlights section and, in case you missed it, here’s our 2018 year in review .
In partnership,
Christine M. Cole
Thanks to our many partners and funders who help us make this work happen. Read more about the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) , Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) , Pew Charitable Trusts , and National Institute of Corrections .

With the support of BJA, CJI partnered with leaders in Louisiana to help direct $8.5 million in corrections savings into innovative and evidence-based programs as part of the implementation phase of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).

Michigan launched a pretrial risk assessment program in five district courts, which CJI will evaluate, piloting a tool to help judges make release decisions with research-driven predictors.

Nevada leaders recently introduced comprehensive legislation (Assembly Bill 236) to reduce recidivism and shift resources toward more cost-effective public safety strategies in partnership with CJI.

In March, Utah became the second state to pass an automatic criminal record clearing law , streamlining the process for Utahns to seal records of old misdemeanor charges and overcome barriers to employment, housing, and education.  

CJI highlighted a cutting edge approach to facilitating access to medication assisted treatment . The increased availability via telemedicine allows individuals many of whom participate in drug court or are reentering the community from jail to more rapidly obtain prescriptions.

To implement the  Transition from Jail to Community model, which helps remove barriers for men and women reintegrating into the community after incarceration, CJI works with eight counties in six states.
Many states are working diligently to ensure their juvenile justice systems are strong and effective with assistance from CJI. CJI’s work focuses on improving outcomes for young people, families, and communities. Here are updates from Kansas, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia:

In KANSAS , more young people are in community-based programs and staff have access to new tools for juvenile justice work. These changes reduced the number of young people in secure confinement, resulting in the permanent closure of one of its two youth detention facilities, and contributed to nearly $30 million in savings since 2016, which can now be used for evidence-based practices for serving youth in the community.

In four years, SOUTH DAKOTA transformed its juvenile justice system and dramatically reduced the number of young people committed to state custody. Probation violations are down, diversion programs expanded, and community-based services show signs of successful outcomes. By using data and research to drive decision-making, kids in South Dakota are getting more of the support they need to turn their lives around.

New policies are having positive effects in UTAH : in 2018 more than half of young people in contact with the juvenile justice system were diverted to community-based programs, up from 17 percent in 2016. At the same time, referrals to juvenile court were down 25 percent and admissions to locked detention were reduced by 44 percent since 2016. And, as referrals to juvenile court decline, referrals are on the increase for receiving centers designed to evaluate young people’s needs for services.

WEST VIRGINIA put new policies and procedures in place designed to decrease the number of young people in secure residential facilities and to increase the use of community-based programs like Youth Reporting Centers. The state focused on redesigning its Youth Reporting Centers to ensure they each provide supervision, accountability, and support services. As a result, 42 percent of youth committed to state custody were referred to community-based programs instead of secure residential facilities in 2018.

In addition to the technical assistance on the ground, CJI staff elevate the national conversation on effective strategies for implementing bold juvenile justice system improvements. Check out additional juvenile justice publications by CJI and follow CJI on Twitter .