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September 1, 2016

VT DPS Release - Criminal Justice Summit

Vermont Department of Public Safety
Press Release
September 1, 2016
11:00 a.m.

Contact: Mark Bosma, 802-839-6717

Vermont officials to take part in criminal justice summit

WATERBURY, VT – As Vermonters face issues of drug crime and opiate addiction, correctional housing, and other criminal justice concerns, Vermont representatives have been selected to participate in a summit that will give state leaders new perspectives on potential solutions to these challenges. 

The National Governors Association (NGA), through its Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), and the National Criminal Justice Association, through its Center for Justice Planning (NCJP), have launched an initiative to support sustainable system-wide criminal justice reform called the National Criminal Justice Reform Project (NCJRP). Vermont was chosen as one of nineteen states to participate in the NCJRP State Strategic Planning and Leadership Summit taking place on October 17-19 in Denver, Colorado.

Teams of state policymakers will work to establish productive, collaborative, problem-solving relationships that provide the basis for embedding a sustainable strategic planning process within the state’s executive branch.  State teams will participate in interactive sessions on the state of criminal justice reform in their communities; the concepts and principles of statewide comprehensive strategic planning; evidence-based policy and practices; and implementation fidelity; and the requirements for sustainability. 

They will also have an opportunity to network with other reform-oriented state leaders and subject matter experts in key areas of criminal justice reform in 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 the justice-involved population;
•           Safely reducing prison and/or jail populations; and
•           Implementing evidence-based practices, including improving access to data and information sharing practices, adopting performance metrics, and integrating evaluation.

Based on the outcomes of the summit and other planned activities, up to five states will be selected in 2017 for multi-year, intensive technical assistance.  Vermont’s four team members will be co-led by Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn, as the Criminal Justice Policy Advisor and State Administering Agency Director, and Dean Hamel, the Information Technology Director for the Department of Public Safety.

Funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the NCJA Center for Justice Planning (NCJP) and the National Governors Association (NGA) are working together to administer the NCJRP.  This initiative supports state executive policymakers with conducting comprehensive, data-driven strategic planning to advance and sustain criminal justice reform. This project will achieve enduring reform through leveraging a governor’s mandate for change and by transforming how state criminal justice agencies use data to inform policy and adopt evidence-based programming.