Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board Begins Work

The Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board met for the first time Wednesday, January 4 in Annapolis.

The inaugural meeting included presentations from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA); Chris Shank, Chief Legislative Officer for the Governor’s Office and Glenn Fueston, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP); and Barbara Bazron, Executive Director of the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

BJA will be providing technical support as the state moves through implementing its justice reinvestment initiative. Representatives briefly shared data on the impacts of justice reinvestment from states that have already gone through the implementation process.

Shank provided a review of Maryland’s justice reinvestment efforts to date. While Fueston discussed the role of GOCCP and responsibilities of the oversight board throughout the implementation phase.

Finally, Bazron summarized data from a recent report on BHA’s program to provide behavioral health assessments and treatments (known colloquially as 8505/8507) for criminal justice related individuals. An expansion of the 8505/8507 program was a component of the justice reinvestment law. In addition to the updates on the program, Bazron shared that the state’s waiver for residential treatment services was approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This will allow Maryland to bill Medicaid for residential treatment services.

The 25 member board, chaired by Judge Daniel M. Long, is charged with overseeing the implementation of the Justice Reinvestment Act (SB 1005), the law passed during the 2016 outlining comprehensive state criminal justice reform. Duties include collecting and analyzing data, creating performance measures, and making recommendations for reinvestment of savings. The board is set to meet quarterly.

Previous coverage on Conduit Street:

Governor Announces Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board