MACo Supports Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board, Calls on State to Address Local Concerns

On March 14, 2016 MACo Executive Director, Michael Sanderson, along with MACo Policy Analyst, Natasha Mehu testified to the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee in support with amendments for SB 768, Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board.

MACo endorses these objectives of the Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council and supports the oversight process established by SB 768 to ensure savings generated by the
Council’s recommendations are secured for their intended purposes.

From the MACo testimony,

SB 768 creates a Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board charged in part with considering any legislation, regulations, rules, budgetary changes, or other actions taken to implement the recommendations of the Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council and the Local Government Justice Reinvestment Commission. MACo seeks additional local correctional facility representation on the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board to represent the broad scope of local interest.

MACo also seeks dedicated and reliable funds for local jails and community programs to meet the responsibilities that will be required when the recommendations take effect but before any savings can be generated and reinvested into local jails.

It is estimated that the recommendations could generate $247 million in savings for the state over a 10 year period. But this is conditioned on the many pieces of the recommendations falling into place and performing as expected. As the grant fund is predicated on “savings,” the money would not be readily available. There will be a gap of time in which local jails and community programs will need resources to implement the council’s recommendations before savings are realized.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.