A joint city-county resolution established the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at the end of 2018. The CJCC Department provides grant oversight, data collection and administrative support to the CJCC.
What is a CJCC?
The Missoula CJCC is a formal committee made up of key criminal justice system stakeholders who are either elected or senior level policymakers. These stakeholders meet regularly to discuss criminal justice reforms. There are CJCCs around the nation working to drive reforms relevant to their municipalities. Keep in mind that a “criminal justice system” involves all stakeholders within the community that interact with people who are currently somewhere in the criminal justice system, including housing, victim services, judges, law enforcement and many others.
What will the CJCC work on?
The CJCC will focus on data-driven and structured planning process to identify, analyze, and solve or manage system issues such as jail crowding, resource reductions, ethnic and racial disparities, case processing inefficiencies, and how to work with a challenging client population, such as those with mental illness and/or substance abuse, as examples.
Current CJCC initiatives include:
- Applying for a $125,000 grant through the state Department of Health and Human Services to fund a mobile crisis team that would respond to a call for someone in mental health crisis instead of law enforcement or other first responders. This team would include two mental health professionals to assess and assist the person in crisis and a peer-support specialist and/or case manager to ensure the person receives follow-up treatment and mental health services. Using a mobile crisis team would reduce jail bookings and emergency room visits, decrease arrests and prosecutions, and allow for more appropriate use of law enforcement and first responder time. If awarded, the county and City of Missoula will provide matching funding, which, coupled with grant funds received earlier this year, would total $380,000 to get a mobile crisis team up and running. Research shows that every dollar spent on mobile crisis saves $5 to $7 elsewhere in the criminal justice system.
- An effort to analyze the result of releasing pre-trial inmates accused of low-level, nonviolent crimes from Missoula County Detention Facility amid COVID-19 concerns. MCDF reduced their population by approximately 50% by releasing inmates who met these criteria in March and have not rebooked the majority of them as they await trial. CJCC staff are collecting data to determine the rate at which they were re-arrested and/or missed court dates. While releasing inmates accused of low-level, nonviolent crimes was already taking place at a slower, more methodical pace before the pandemic, the data gathered from releasing a large number of inmates at once will prove invaluable to the CJCC as it develops and implements more programs to address the root causes of crime, including poverty, addiction and mental health issues.
- Implementation of Calibrate, a prosecution-led pre-trial diversion program housed in the County Attorney’s Office. This voluntary program offers some criminal defendants an opportunity to have their criminal charges dismissed if they successfully complete a treatment plan specific to their needs. Treatment plans may include financial counseling, inpatient treatment for addictions and restitution.
- Increased use of the Public Safety Assessment, a risk assessment tool that uses nine factors to predict whether an individual will commit a new crime or fail to return to a scheduled court hearing if released before trial.
- Development of the Jail Data Dashboard. It depicts several key data points that are essential in understanding the jail population and helps to identify, analyze, solve and manage systems issues in the criminal justice process, such as reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system.
The principal mission of the CJCC is to use a data-driven approach to study Missoula County's adult and juvenile criminal justice system; identify challenges; raise public awareness; consolidate efforts; and formulate policy, plans and programs to improve the system. The CJCC is committed to the coordinated planning of innovative corrections programs that reflect the County's desire for safety and cost effectiveness, which includes assessing successes and shortcomings.
The CJCC will actively work to ensure data-driven criminal justice improvements, including improvement of the local criminal justice system, maximizing available resources and protecting the safety of our citizens.
Who is a member of the CJCC?
Below is a list of voting members of the CJCC.
- District Court Judge
- One Missoula County Commissioner appointed by a quorum of the commissioners
- The Missoula County Undersheriff
- Municipal Judge for the City of Missoula
- One Justice of the Peace for Missoula County
- A representative from the Office of the Public Defender
- A member of the Missoula City Council appointed by a quorum of the council
- Chief of the City of Missoula Police Department
- Missoula County Detention Facility Jail Commander
- A representative from the City Attorney’s Office
- A representative from the County Attorney’s Office
- Bureau Chief, Probation and Parole Division
- Mayor for the City of Missoula
- Indian Law Attorney
- Executive Director of the All Nations Health Center
- Director of Missoula County Crime Victim Advocate Program
- Director of Housing and Community Development
- Executive Director of Partnership Health Center
- Department of Public Health and Human Services Representative – Child and Family Services Regional Administrator
- Youth Court, Chief JPO
- Clerk of District Court
- Native American Liaison from the All Nations Health Center
- Executive Director of Missoula Correctional Services
- A representative from the local chapter of the ACLU Montana
- A representative from the Missoula US Attorney’s office
- Captain of the Montana Highway Patrol
- Executive Director of the Montana Innocence Project
- Chief of Police, University of Montana
What does this department do?
With the help of a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, Missoula County has been able to kick-start new and current criminal justice reforms. Early in 2019, the MacArthur grant paid for a facilitated Stress Test and a Sequential Intercept Mapping (SIM) exercise. The outcomes from these facilitated activities are a SIM report, map and strategies. Additionally, the CJCC Department has created a CJCC Strategic Plan that captures the MacArthur strategies and additional strategies to provide a clear path forward for the CJCC. The CJCC Strategic Plan will be updated on a biennial basis after the first year of council development.
The CJCC Department will provide support for the CJCC through committee-level work. We work to assist the CJCC in becoming a policy and advisory board that makes decisions based on relevant data and information.