Virginia, National Institute of Corrections lead efforts to improve public safety outcomes

virginia-newFollowing the remarkable achievements of the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County to improve public safety through the application of proven research in criminal justice decisions, Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has selected Virginia to participate in Phase V of its Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) Initiative.

“Virginia’s law enforcement professionals once again have demonstrated that they are among the nation’s leaders in using evidence-based decision making to improve public safety,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The entire Commonwealth will benefit because of their efforts, and I thank them.”

The NIC’s EBDM framework represents an evolution of today’s criminal justice system, designed to build collaborative, evidence-based decision making and practices in local criminal justice systems by equipping criminal justice policymakers with the information, processes, and tools to reduce pretrial misconduct and post-conviction reoffending. The NIC introduced the EBDM criminal justice framework in 2010 after extensive research and input from leading professionals across the nation.

“We are pleased that Virginia is being supported by the NIC to continue this approach in other localities in our state,” said Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. “With this broader implementation of EBDM, we will build upon the experiences of those who have advanced the use of new skills, approaches, and research to engineer systems that are vision-driven, efficient, and effective.”

At the outset of the program, the National Institute of Corrections provided technical assistance to the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County to help them implement strategies, processes and methods to advance constructive change in their local criminal justice system, resulting in a reduction of risk and harm in their community.

After reviewing Charlottesville-Albemarle’s demonstrated results—increased efficiency, decreased costs and improved public safety—criminal justice leaders from across the state, including representatives from law enforcement, public defense, prosecution, the judiciary, probation and parole and others, applied to the NIC to participate in Phase V of the EBDM Initiative.

“At the National Institute of Corrections, we believe that risk and harm reduction are fundamental goals of the justice system,” said NIC Director Jim Cosby. “We are pleased to partner with state and local officials to make EBDM a statewide reality. The leaders of Virginia’s criminal justice agencies are demonstrating that local collaboration and research evidence can result in improved community and system outcomes, without sacrificing offender accountability.”

The initial implementation of Phase V of the EBDM Initiative in Virginia will start with the “EBDM Roadmap,” a step-by-step process designed to assist states in preparing for the application of the framework in six additional sites across the state, Chesterfield County, City of Norfolk, City of Petersburg, Prince William County, City of Richmond, and the City of Staunton. Virginia joins Wisconsin and Indiana as one of the three initial states to receive support from NIC for the implementation of this framework. NIC will provide technical assistance, training and guidance around effective implementation to participating teams in each of these three states.

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