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County Executive's Office

COUNTY COMMITTEES HEAR RESULTS OF REPORT ON IDENTIFYING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR JAIL DEFLECTION AND DIVERSION PROGRAMS

February 17, 2020
Colleen Clark-Bernhardt, 608.266.3022
County Board

In an effort to achieve a more equitable and effective criminal justice system, the Dane County Criminal Justice Council, Public Protection and Judiciary Committee, and Executive Committee recently heard the results of a study on deflection and diversion programs targeted at non-violent, misdemeanor-level offenses. 

The report was prompted by a budget amendment, and a product of months of research and interviews with a variety of criminal justice system stakeholders.

January Advisors, a consulting firm working on data-related research projects presented to the various committees on their research and findings from the analysis. 

Some of the recommendations include:

·     Investigate the potential for deflecting more disorderly conduct cases prior to arrest

·     Work to reduce misdemeanor probation violation with no associated offenses

·     Expand eligibility for existing programs, such as the Community Restorative Court, to include more offenses and broaden the qualified age range

“We’ve done a lot of work in Dane County to make our criminal justice system more just and to create common sense interventions at the front end of the criminal justice system, but we have a lot more work to do,” noted Supervisor Shelia Stubbs (District 23).  “Analyses like this provide us with ideas for additional best practices to consider, and at the same time, shine a light on the progress we have made and will build on."​ 

The report also included recommendations for additional data collection and research that could be done to better understand the impact of deflection and diversion on creating a more equitable criminal justice system.   

A copy of the report is available here: https://board.countyofdane.com/documents/pdf/Dane-County---Diversion---Deflection-Analysis-and-Recommendations-January-2020--FINAL.pdf