Criminal Justice Institute

Convening criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, experts and advocates.

Institute for Criminal Justice and Public Safety Executives

Hosted by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), in partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Institute for Criminal Justice and Public Safety Executives is a two-day meeting in which expert-led panels present on key issues in the criminal justice and public safety realms, and states and share best practices.

Upcoming Meeting

The next Institute will be held in 2018. Check back for updates.

2017 Institute Recap and Materials

View the 2017 Agenda | Presentation Slide Deck | Participant List | SAA Roundtable Agenda.

State Agency Administrators (SAA) and Governors’ Criminal Justice Policy Advisors (CJPAs) joined together in Charleston, South Carolina in December 2017 for the Institute for State Criminal Justice and Public Safety Executives, hosted by NCJA and the National Governor’s Association (NGA). Representatives from 38 states and territories registered for the event which featured a robust agenda of high priority topics, networking opportunities and discussions. 

NCJA Executive Director Chris Asplen and Jeff McLeod, director, Homeland Security and Public Safety Division at NGA, welcomed attendees and opened the conference, providing important updates on their respective agency’s efforts to advance the justice system. Prior to the Institute, invited participants were asked to identify their states’ top criminal justice challenges and priorities. Issues topping the list included prison overcrowding and reducing recidivism rates, cybercrime, the opioid epidemic and lingering impacts of methamphetamine, and the challenges created by resistance to Justice Reinvestment efforts. Panels throughout the two day conference spoke directly to these issues and featured subject matter experts from across the country, as well as federal partners from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). 

Panel highlights included State Strategies to Target Violent Crime and Strategies to Strengthen Criminal Justice Communications, which provided important guidance to help states respond to critical incident events as well as shape their reform messaging.  Thursday afternoon featured Coordinating National Drug Control Efforts with presentations from the DEA, Colorado’s Department of Public Safety who spoke about the impact of marijuana legalization, and the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. The day wrapped up with special breakout sessions for SAAs and CJPAs, which provided an opportunity to network, share ideas and receive targeted updates.

During the SAA-only Breakout session, SAAs heard about a proposal by the NCJA to develop an NCJA Leadership Academy, an update on Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) funding and a detailed description of the new Strategic Planning Training and Technical Assistance offered by the NCJA.

Closing out the two-day event, an engaged and passionate group heard from BJA and representatives from Arizona and Virginia who shared their experience and expertise around combating the opioid epidemic, learned about what’s next in criminal justice reform, and ended the day with an informed and timely Inside the Beltway: Federal Legislative Update led by the NCJA’s Elizabeth Pyke and NGA’s Mary Catherine Ott.

Contact Us

For questions or more information, please contact Tammy Woodhams.