Local Government Commission Convenes to Discuss Justice Reinvestment

The first meeting of the Local Government Justice Reinvestment Commission was held Thursday, August 30 in Annapolis.

The Commission was established to represent each county in advising the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Board on matters related to the Justice Reinvestment Act’s implementation. This includes making recommendations regarding performance incentive grants to local governments and creating measures to assess the effectiveness of the grants. The commission is chaired by Robert L. Green, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.

Members of the Local Government Justice Reinvestment Commission being briefed by GOCCP Representatives on the Justice Reinvestment Act and the status of its implementation.
Members of the Local Government Justice Reinvestment Commission being briefed by GOCCP Representatives on the Justice Reinvestment Act and the status of its implementation.

The agenda included a presentation on the Justice Reinvestment Act by Janet Lane, the Director of Justice Reinvestment, and Donald Hogan, the Chief of Legislation & Justice Reinvestment, from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP). The duo reported on the history of JRA, the issues it aims to address, the goals it aims to meet, and the role of the commission and other boards in helping to see the act through.

Lane and Hogan also reported on the results of a local jail gaps and needs survey and a local jail budgetary impact report both performed following the passage of the Act and in conjunction with local jails. Stressing that the act is data driven, they noted the need to continue to collect information from the locals on the impacts of the act as it is implemented.

Following that presentation, Chairman Green took a moment to discuss data needed for assessments of local programs. While they had received a lot of information from nonprofits and stakeholders, he believed the data from local governments was not sufficiently representing the amount of work and programs they are providing. Chairman Green asked the group to go back to counties and their criminal justice stakeholders to ensure all the programs they are doing are accounted for.

The meeting concluded with a presentation from Jeffrey Zuback from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention on the performance measures that are being established to help ensure all the provisions in the Act are being followed and to see what impact they are having on public safety in Maryland. So far about 126 measures have been developed with 18 focused on locals. Work continues to refine those measures before for the law takes effect on Oct. 1, 2017.

For more information about the Local Government Justice Reinvestment Commission visit the GOCCP website.