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Milwaukee, Eau Claire counties selected for justice system initiative

Madison, Wisconsin - September 7, 2010

Milwaukee and Eau Claire counties are among seven jurisdictions nationwide selected as “seed sites” for an initiative to improve the handling of cases at each step of the criminal justice process – from initial contact with law enforcement through sentencing.

During the next year, the counties will receive technical assistance to develop a local framework as part of the Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems Initiative, said Chief Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers, Milwaukee County Circuit Court. The initiative is funded by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) with support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs.

The local framework will be based on a national model developed on the “belief that risk and harm reduction are fundamental goals of the justice system, and that these can be achieved without sacrificing offender accountability or other important justice system outcomes,” according to the NIC. Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson served on an advisory committee that helped develop the national model.

Staff from the initiative’s partners will visit the counties monthly, and a group of key criminal justice system stakeholders from each county will travel to Maryland for a workshop as part of the program.

“Working in collaboration with other justice system partners, our goal is to develop a framework for the implementation of evidence based decision making that will enhance public safety and offender accountability, while taking advantage of the latest research in the area of criminal justice,” Kremers said.

Milwaukee and Eau Claire counties were selected for the initiative because they are well-positioned to pilot the program, according to NIC. Both counties now serve as pilots for AIM (Assess, Inform, Measure) program – an evidence-based practice that provides judges with the best information available about a particular offender and possible treatment options in a particular community or institutional setting.

“This framework will help us build on the successes we’ve had, and we can share that knowledge, not just in Wisconsin, but with our justice system colleagues throughout the country,” said Chief Judge Benjamin D. Proctor, Eau Claire County Circuit Court.

Other jurisdictions selected to participate in this phase of the initiative include Mesa County (Grand Junction), Colorado; Grant County, Indiana; Ramsey County (St. Paul), Minn.;Yamhill County, Oregon; and The Thomas Jefferson area (City of Charlottesville/County of Albemarle), Virginia.

More information about the Evidence-based Decision Making initiative in Local Criminal Justice Systems Initiatives can be found at: www.cepp.com/EBDM.OneLess/index.html

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640 

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