In July, the Crime and Justice Institute and Tennessee began the site selection process for a four-year project funded through an innovative use of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Byrne grant program. Two pilot counties, jointly chosen by the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) and CJI, will work with CJI’s project team to identify and implement a pretrial risk assessment tool.

CJI’s site selection process follows four phases. In Phase I, the Tennessee OCJP solicited letters of interest from all communities. Of the eight letters received, five moved onto Phase II by responding to a survey of each county’s current data capacity and past data-sharing collaboration between criminal justice stakeholders. Phase III, which CJI completed in mid-November included a series of phone interviews with each of the five sites to discuss current pretrial options and services, pretrial assessment and diversion, and further discuss data availability. Now that the interviews have been completed, CJI and OCJP have selected three finalist sites with which to conduct the Phase IV on-site interviews with criminal justice stakeholders, explore current pretrial services, court processes, and data collection practices.

CJI plans to select two of the three finalist sites by early 2016 to receive technical and implementation assistance from CJI and implementation funding from Tennessee’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs over the next three and a half years.

Congratulations to the three finalist sites: Knox County, Madison County, and Metro Nashville.