Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice System Improvement

The State Administering Agencies (SAAs) are leaders in improving the criminal justice system in their states. Through their role as conveners and funders, the SAAs test innovation in criminal justice policy, replicate proven practices, fund data-driven policy and practice, and harmonize policy across programs and across state and local agencies, and leverage other sources of funding to amplify these accomplishments.

NCJA provides training and technical assistance to support SAAs and their partner agencies in this work. Currently, NCJA is involved in two projects moving states forward on strategic planning and evidence-based policy: the Statewide Training and Technical Assistance Project and the National Criminal Justice Reform Project. These are described below.

Current Projects

Statewide Strategic Planning Training and Technical Assistance

The National Criminal Justice Association, with funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, offers training and technical assistance to SAAs to support your strategic planning efforts and the implementation of evidence-based policies and practices. This TTA is designed to help states meet the 2019 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant requirement of a comprehensive statewide strategic plan. TTA will be delivered in a variety of ways to best meet your needs; including onsite facilitation, phone/email contact, web based learning, regional trainings, and personalized support.  In addition, NCJA will be providing grants management training, mentoring and leadership development to our SAA partners.

Submit a TTA Request form describing your strategic planning needs, project timeline, and desired TTA delivery.

National Criminal Justice Reform Project

A governor’s commitment to remaking the state’s criminal justice system creates the mandate necessary for transformational change. To be enduring, reform efforts must bolster the state administering agency’s capacity to use data to inform policy and promote wider adoption of evidence-based programming. The NCJA, through it's Center for Justice Planning , and the National Governors Association are working together on a joint initiative to support system-wide criminal justice reform in five states. Funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the National Criminal Justice Reform Project (NCJRP) provides long-term technical assistance for the planning and implementation of data-driven, evidence-based reform focused on one or more areas of state policy and practice, including:

  • Reforming pretrial release and bail;
  • Improving the reentry process and reducing offender recidivism;
  • Addressing mental health and substance use disorders in justice-involved populations;
  • Safely reducing prison and/or jail populations; and
  • Implementing evidence-based practices, including improving access to data, and strengthening information sharing practices, adopting performance metrics and integrating evaluation.

The overarching goals of the project are to move all states toward wider adoption of evidence-based practices within criminal justice policy-making and to improve public safety by making criminal justice systems smarter, fairer and more cost-effective.

Learn more about the National Criminal Justice Reform Project and supporting state criminal justice reform efforts.