Dane County Awarded Major Grant to Support Criminal Justice Reform

Dane County is one of 20 jurisdictions joining the Safety and Justice Challenge, a national $100 million initiative to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.  Dane County will design and test innovative local justice reforms designed to safely drive down jail usage and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their local justice systems.

Through the Challenge’s Innovation Fund, Dane County will receive support and  technical assistance in designing and implementing local reforms.  Dane County’s innovation will focus on training of local peacemakers and technical advances to support expansion of the Community Restorative Court from the pilot project stage to a countywide initiative, with the goal of reducing disparities in the criminal justice system.

“The Community Restorative Court was developed through the work of the Racial Disparities Subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Council and has been supported by key community partners, including the UW Law School, the Madison Police Department, and community members who volunteer their time to serve as peacemakers,” said County Board Supervisor Shelia Stubbs, whose south Madison district is the site of the CRC pilot program.  “This Innovation Grant from a national partner will allow the county to expand this critical restorative justice initiative throughout Dane County and give us even greater access to national expertise.

Dane County  will receive short-term support of $50,000, is eligible for future funding opportunities, and will have access to the resources, peer learning opportunities, and expertise of the Safety and Justice Challenge Network, which is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

(Above is an abbreviated version of a press release issued by the Dane County Board of Supervisors on February 1.)



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