Governor Walker established the twenty-member Statewide CJCC by Executive Order in April 2012, and has charged the Council with examining crime and criminal justice problems in the state, and recommending strategies to improve criminal justice system policy, operations, and outcomes. The Council seeks to improve criminal justice system efficiency, effectiveness, and public safety.
Wisconsin’s criminal justice system relies on many criminal justice professionals working in multiple agencies at the local, county, and state level. State and local elected officials and agency heads, judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and state and local law enforcement share responsibility for the operations of the criminal justice system. Additional non-governmental community members—including victim advocacy and service groups, community treatment providers, and the education community—also play critical roles in the state’s criminal justice system.
The statewide Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils (CJCCs) serves as an idea and information exchange for local CJCCs, offers a neutral forum to discuss broader justice concerns, and makes recommendations at a justice system-wide level to the legislature and the Governor. Justice system concerns extend beyond the borders of individual counties, and can be better addressed when local CJCCS have the ability to interact and work together, and glean the “best practices” established in other jurisdictions. Statewide support for the efforts of local CJCCs can result in improved efficiency and effectiveness of the overall criminal justice system.
In Wisconsin, 37 local CJCCs have been established to foster justice system innovations. Local CJCCs provide the necessary foundation for communities to fully assess the needs of the local criminal justice system and develop programming and practices in response to these needs. An effective CJCC can bring about improvements and new initiatives that cannot be achieved by a single agency or organization (i.e. problem solving courts, utilization of risk assessment tools, community service programs, restorative justice, etc.).