Providing nonpartisan policy analysis, consulting, and
research services to improve public safety throughout the nation.

Justice Reinvestment

CJI provides technical assistance to states, counties, and tribal justice systems engaging in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI). JRI is a data-driven approach to

  • Improve public safety by reducing recidivism,
  • Use criminal justice resources more effectively, and
  • Reinvest in programs, services, and treatment proven to reduce likelihood of re-offense and improve offender outcomes.

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) is a public-private partnership between the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the Department of Justice and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Between 2007 and 2013, 17 states have developed, passed, and implemented major criminal justice policy reforms that are projected to save a total of $4.6 billion in corrections spending over the next several years.

CJI has participated in JRI work occurring at both the state and local levels. State level policy reform is focused on developing statewide policy reform recommendations and passing criminal justice legislation to codify the recommendations. Local policy reform focuses on identifying more effective practices at the agency or program level and assisting in implementing these practices.

Phase I:

  • Data analysis- to identify the drivers of the correctional populations
  • System assessment and mapping- to outline how the system operates and identify opportunities for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the system
  • Presentation of research and evidence-based practices- to provide the foundation of how to successfully reduce recidivism
  • Policy options- to support the development of policies grounded in data and research
  • Population projections- to identify the impact of specific policies
  • Education- to inform system stakeholders of the findings from the data analysis, system assessment, and research
  • State Level: to develop and support legislation required for statutory changes
  • Local Level: to develop and support agency policies and procedures
  • Preparation for Phase II

Phase II:

  • Implementation technical assistance- to support the implementation of policies from JRI Phase I
  • Training and education- on evidence-based practices and other areas as requested by stakeholders (Such as the Principles of Effective Intervention, Core Correctional Practices)
  • Work planning- to guide the stages of implementation
  • Performance measures- to document and measure the success of different policies, and their affect on reducing recidivism

Examples of our JRI work include:

State Level

CJI has partnered with Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP) since 2009 to help states advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in sentencing and corrections that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs. Our team has had a significant role in the adoption of comprehensive reforms in the adult criminal justice system in eight states. The reforms in each state have all included significant changes to criminal sentencing policy.


CJI has assisted with the passage of legislation in the following states using on the JRI process:

  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Utah

CJI is working in two states, Alaska and Maryland, to provide technical assistance to state leaders developing policy recommendations for the 2016 legislative session. CJI is also working with Mississippi on the implementation of reforms passed in the 2014 legislative session, and with Utah on reforms passed in the 2015 legislative session.

Local Level

Since 2010, CJI has worked with the Bureau of Justice Assistance to provide JRI Phase 1 technical assistance to localities seeking to identify concrete ways to improve their criminal justice systems through agency policy changes.

CJI has worked on JRI in the following sites:

  • Alachua County, Florida
  • Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
  • Johnson County, Kansas
  • Lane County, Oregon
  • New York, New York
  • Santa Cruz County, California
  • The City and County of San Francisco, California
  • Yolo County, California