Criminal justice coordinating councils (CJCCs) emerged as early as the 1970s as a means to create systemic responses to specific problems facing local jurisdictions such as jail crowding and domestic violence but waned over time. The concept of the CJCC has begun to emerge again as an effective means for improving public safety, creating system-based approaches to justice issues, reducing duplication of effort and conflicting practices, and improving how local jurisdictions allocate limited justice system resources. The National Network of Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils (NNCJCC) is a formal network of staff and leadership of local CJCCs that provides a forum for peer-to-peer learning among Network members and information sharing nationally to build capacity for CJCCs around the country.
What is a CJCC?
A criminal justice coordinating council (CJCC) is the general term used to describe a body of elected and senior justice system leaders that convene on a regular basis to coordinate systemic responses to justice problems. CJCCs differ widely in the membership and structure. However, generally speaking, a CJCC is a partnership of decision makers who have a stake in the effective administration of justice. Typically the partnership includes representatives from:
- The 3 branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative);
- Multiple levels of government through city, county, and state agencies; and
- Allied stakeholders from various other governmental entities such as education or health and human services, community based organizations, service providers, and citizens.
In addition to the members of the CJCCs, administrative support and planning is provided by a coordinator or director, either from one of the agencies in the CJCC or dedicated and funded by the county for this purpose.
JMI created the National Network of Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils (NNCJCC) in 2010 to provide a forum for local CJCCs to learn from each other and to build local capacity for system improvement. The NNCJCC was originally created with the support of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and in partnership with the Pretrial Justice Institute and the National Association of Counties.
The intent of the NNCJCC, when it started, was to bring together staff and leadership from the most well-developed and long-standing CJCCs across the country to engage in national problem-sharing and problem-solving discussions about creating system and sustaining system change, coordination and collaboration among diverse stakeholders, emerging justice system challenges, and effective strategies for addressing these challenges. The information shared and lessons learned serve as a platform for building capacity with newly formed or struggling CJCCs.
To be a national leader and a voice for local criminal justice system reform that is based on data-driven policies and evidence-based practices that result in improved public safety outcomes, cost-effective responses to crime, and fair and efficient adjudication processes.
The Network provides a platform for advocacy and a national voice for counties and criminal justice practitioners that supports systemic, transformational reform in the justice system and promotes fiscally-responsible decision making. Specifically, the Network’s mission is to:
- Build capacity among CJCC coordinators for decision making that is focused on equitable, effective, and fiscally responsible justice policy;
- Create a venue for identifying and unpacking the most pressing public safety challenges facing local justice systems;
- Develop, implement, and assess new strategic approaches for addressing justice system problems; and
- Construct and maintain a data collaborative for on-going assessment and data-driven justice system planning.
For more information about the National Network of Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils, please contact Aimee Wickman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (720) 235-0124.
For information on membership, click here.
For NNCJCC resources, click here.