Introduction to CJCCs: Helpful Hints

Helpful Hint: There are many ways that state mandates and specific issues can be leveraged to take local action. Planning boards and councils are not a new concept in criminal justice. Because of this, there may be several committees and councils that already exist in your jurisdiction. They may have been created for one single purpose but have many of the same people at the table. For example, there may be a human trafficking committee that meets on the first Wednesday of the month. There is a likelihood that many of the people who serve on the human trafficking committee also sit on the youth housing initiative committee that meets on the third Thursday of the month. If this is happening in your jurisdiction, this is a great place to start to create or improve a system-wide CJCC. Collaboration within these specific committees can be mirrored to include high-level stakeholders making system-wide policy and planning decisions.

Helpful Hint:  The words “unfunded mandate” can be a local government’s worst nightmare.  There are many times when state legislation requires a change in local justice policy and practice but does not come with funding to make and support said change. A recent trend in “unfunded mandates” can be found in reporting requirements and data sharing. One way to address these “unfunded mandates” is to create a CJCC to leverage resources to meet these new requirements. In addition, many local governments try to stay ahead of state requirements. Having a CJCC that is proactively working on problems and implementing solutions, provides an opportunity for contributing to language when legislation is being written. This allows the CJCC to serve as the example for other communities and stay ahead of “unfunded mandates”.