National Criminal Justice Reform Project
The National Criminal Justice Reform Project (NCJRP) was a five-year initiative that assisted states in advancing criminal justice reform through an executive-led, comprehensive strategic planning process and the adoption of data-driven and evidence-based policies, practices, and programs (EBPs).
Supported by Arnold Ventures and administered by the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), the NCJRP was designed to achieve transformational and durable state-level criminal justice reforms. The reform efforts focused on improving reentry and reducing recidivism, pretrial release and bail reform, and improving access to data and information sharing.
The NCJRP approach was designed to build capacity in states by leveraging existing knowledge, expertise and resources. By meeting states “where they are” and providing guidance and support to both policymakers and programmatic staff during planning and implementation, the NCJRP aimed to achieve more effective and durable outcomes than those previously pursued through other reform models.
Delaware: State Stories
Arizona: State Stories
Oregon: State Stories
Watch the State Stories
NCJRP recognizes people-first language whenever possible. However, please note some of the NCJRP resources and documents listed below are official state reports.
In an effort to address the state’s three-year recidivism rate of approximately 40 percent, then-Arizona Governor Ducey initiated a Recidivism Reduction Breakthrough Project in the fall of 2016. Through its work with NCJRP, Arizona is building upon the reentry reform foundation to improve Second Chance Center operations and expand reentry reform to county jails with state funding. Continued enhancement of the state’s data infrastructure to support implementation fidelity and outcome evaluation will be key to success.
Delaware focused on improving reentry processes and reducing recidivism by convening the Delaware Committee on Criminal Justice Reform and developing the Delaware Strategic Plan for Prisoner Reentry and the Delaware Recidivism Reduction System Blueprint. In December 2017, Governor Carney signed Executive Order 27 which created the Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission (DCRC) and the Office of Planning, Research and Reentry within the Department of Correction (DOC). Evidence-based practice implementation focused on expanded cognitive behavior therapy programming as well as job readiness skills among DOC clients. Moving forward, Delaware plans to sustain the Office of Planning, Research and Reentry at the DOC, pursue the implementation of an outcome evaluation in partnership with the University of Delaware and sustain the work of the DCRC under the Governor’s Family Cabinet Council.
Oregon engaged in planning for pretrial justice reform in two core policy areas: expanding pretrial risk assessments statewide to better inform release decision-making at the local level and increasing transparency and access to county jail and pretrial data. Following the presentation of the NCJRP state plan to then-Governor Brown in 2017, the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission and Portland State University developed a first-of-its-kind data collection and information-gathering effort. The resulting report put the Legislature’s pretrial release inquiries in the greater context of the overarching criminal justice system and suggests appropriate policy changes. With then-Governor Brown’s support, Senate Bill 48 went into effect on July 1, 2022, which advances pretrial reforms.
Vermont sought to improve the state’s pretrial justice system through state and local collaboration and to improve data access by creating a formal infrastructure to collect, share, and analyze criminal justice data. The Vermont NCJRP Advisory Committee was established to move forward with pretrial reform and the Data Committee of the Racial Disparities in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice System Advisory Panel (RDAP) worked on criminal justice data improvements in Vermont. The NCJRP team provided information and technical support to both committees. In November 2021, RDAP submitted a report to the Legislature with a Data Integration Plan that would support the newly established criminal justice statistical analysis agency focused on racial equity. Members of this newly created Division of Racial Justice Statistics within the Vermont Office of Racial Equity (established by H.546/Act142) will continue to collaborate on this project moving forward.