Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

2023 Budget: Restorative Justice

Parisi’s budget creates the new Dane County Department of Justice Reform and Equity. Through a combination of new staff positions and realigning existing capacity, this new department will be a dedicated, independent resource to bridge agencies within the criminal justice system and lead Dane County’s next steps on data driven reforms. The budget includes funds for the agency to administer a micro-grant program to support community-based reforms.

This budget also allocates $85,000 for a new re-entry partnership with Dane County and Project Big Step to help those leaving jail with job training that can lead to careers in the trades.

Joe Parisi visits Project Big Step

Several new members of the County Board brought new energy, vision, and ideas to criminal justice reform. Parisi has set aside $500,000 in this budget to help bring some of those visions to reality and implement the next phase of Dane County’s criminal justice reform work.

Building on the successes of the Community Restorative Court (CRC), Parisi is also jumpstarting creation of a new Dane County Community Court pilot in his budget. Community Court is intended to address underlying issues that contribute to criminal behavior. For the pilot start-up phase, this court will operate a couple of afternoons a month and serve around 60 individuals in its first year. The budget has funds to help Dane County set up a new Community Court, including hiring a full-time coordinator within the new Department of Criminal Justice Reform and Equity.