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Wisconsin selected for statewide initiative to expand evidence-based practices in criminal justice system

Madison, Wisconsin - March 2, 2015

The National Institute of Corrections today announced that Wisconsin is one of three states to advance with a technical assistance grant program designed to improve public safety through the application of proven research in the criminal justice decision-making process.

Indiana and Virginia were also selected to participate in Phase V of the institute’s Evidence-Based Decision Making Initiative, which will help establish the framework for continually improving local criminal justice systems throughout the state.

Phase V builds on work done in Milwaukee and Eau Claire counties, which were first selected in 2010 to participate in earlier phases of the initiative. Thanks to support from the institute, a state team and six counties will now be added to the initiative: Chippewa, La Crosse, Marathon, Outagamie, Rock and Waukesha.

“We are thankful to Milwaukee and Eau Claire counties for helping take Wisconsin to the next level,” said Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson. “These efforts, along with those of the additional counties and a new state team, will benefit us all,” Abrahamson said.

The Phase V grant application was a joint effort of criminal justice leaders from across the state, including representatives from law enforcement, public defense, prosecution, the judiciary, probation and parole, and others dedicated to increasing efficiency, lowering costs and improving public safety.

“At the National Institute of Corrections, we believe that risk and harm reduction are fundamental goals of the justice system,” said the institute’s director Jim Cosby. “We are pleased to partner with state and local officials to make evidence-based decision making a statewide reality. The leaders of Wisconsin’s criminal justice agencies are demonstrating that local collaboration and research evidence can result in improved community and system outcomes, without sacrificing offender accountability.”

The initiative is a collaborative effort designed to equip criminal justice policymakers with the information, processes, and tools to reduce pretrial misconduct and recidivism. The NIC introduced the evidence-based decision making criminal justice framework in 2010 after extensive research and input from leading professionals across the nation.

A two-day in-state meeting this summer will formally launch the statewide planning initiative in Phase V. The goals of the in-state meeting will be to ensure a shared understanding of the purposes, benefits, and processes of the initiative; begin the process of building and solidifying methods for cross-team partnership and collaboration; and begin the work of the Phase V roadmap. A future Phase VI of the initiative would involve implementation of those ideas and practices.

For additional information about the National Institute of Correction's evidence-based decision making initiative in Wisconsin, contact:

Chief Judge Jeffrey A. Kremers
Milwaukee County Circuit Court
(414) 278-5116


Tiana Glenna
Eau Claire County Criminal Justice Collaborating Council
(715) 839-1249

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