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Relationship to State Level Justice Planning

State Administering Agencies (SAAs) are entities within state and territorial governments and the District of Columbia, that are responsible for comprehensive criminal justice planning and policy development. They are the recipients of criminal justice federal grant dollars through various block grants. The Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016 requires that all SAAs develop a comprehensive statewide plan (updated every five years) detailing how grants received will be used to improve the administration of the criminal justice system, which shall be designed in consultation with local governments and representatives of all segments of the criminal justice system, including judges, prosecutors, law enforcement personnel, corrections personnel, and providers of indigent defense services, victim services, juvenile justice delinquency prevention programs, community corrections, and reentry services. State and local planning entities should make targeted efforts to include each other in their justice planning processes.

State Level Support of Local Criminal Justice Planning Entities

CJCCs are more likely to be created and to succeed in states where state government encourages local criminal justice planning, analysis, and coordination. State governments can play a powerful role by assisting and empowering local jurisdictions. They can help localities define the needs of their communities, support local efforts to develop balanced and systemic solutions, and obtain data to guide decision-making.

State agencies also benefit by developing and maintaining relationships with CJCCs. Including representatives of local CJCCs on state criminal justice planning agency boards, committees, and task forces will forge important links to improve state and local justice planning and coordination.

States including Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin have established legal and policy frameworks to support local CJCCs to incentivize systemwide planning and to further public safety and criminal justice goals.

Suggested guidelines to promote better state/local justice coordination partnerships include the following:

  • Ensure that state officials are included in local planning efforts
  • Ensure that local officials are included at state-level planning efforts
  • Make it possible for states to use local CJCC’s as pilot sites for new emerging programs
  • Support the provision of technical or financial assistance to enhance local efforts in data collection and analysis for policy purposes.
  • Provide support and assistance in the development of local coordinating councils and training on policy planning
  • Provide incentives through grant awards for jurisdictions with planning boards and for jurisdictions that see the “big picture” and recognize systemic and the fiscal outcomes of new projects.

Example: The Pennsylvania Council on Crime and Delinquency

For many years the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has supported county Criminal Justice Advisory Boards (CJABs). PCCD has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the CJAB concept by not only encouraging counties throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to establish such boards, but also by making grant funds available to both create new CJABs as well as provide support for CJAB-sponsored projects. PCCD supports CJABs in getting started and with assistance on strategies and project implementation. CJABs provide PCCD with an efficient way to evaluate a county’s suitability for support of criminal justice initiatives, for example, by expanding technology capability. PCCD also established minimum operating standards for CJABs across the commonwealth.