As a continuation of the 50-State Summit on Public Safety, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will provide support for up to 25 states to host a State Forum on Public Safety in early 2018. Criminal justice experts from The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center or the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) will travel to selected states to facilitate a data-rich public safety discussion between a broad cross-section of policymakers, criminal justice professionals, behavioral health practitioners, and advocates, and meet with state leaders to identify opportunities to increase public safety.
These forums will help policymakers understand their state’s challenges within national and regional contexts and provide case studies of strategies and policies that state and local governments across the country have implemented to address similar issues. States will also be asked to hold several meetings with their assigned CSG Justice Center or CJI criminal justice expert shortly after the forum to debrief and discuss next steps.
Topic areas that policymakers in your state might be interested in exploring when hosting a forum include:
- Addressing violent crime and other crime trends
- Expanding state efforts to reduce recidivism
- Improving responses to people who have mental illnesses and substance use disorders in the criminal justice system
- Identifying cost-effective corrections and sentencing policies to generate savings and reinvest in public safety
- December 1, 2017: Date by which states must apply to be part of the State Forums on Public Safety initiative.
- December 2017: Following the application deadline, BJA will review all of the applications and choose the states that will participate. BJA will also determine whether selected states will partner with the CSG Justice Center or CJI.
- January–March 2018: Selected states will coordinate with the CSG Justice Center or CJI to host a State Forum on Public Safety.
States interested in hosting a State Forum on Public Safety must commit to the following:
- Organize one 1.5- to 2-hour forum in which a criminal justice expert from the CSG Justice Center or CJI will travel to the state to deliver a presentation on the state’s crime, corrections, and behavioral health trends, as well as facilitate discussion among 25–50 state- and county-level leaders to identify opportunities to increase public safety. Forum attendees should include representatives from the judicial branch; the executive branch, including the state department of corrections; the legislative branch, including bipartisan representation; and key state and local stakeholders.
- Schedule two or three follow-up meetings with the CSG Justice Center or CJI criminal justice expert and a subset of interested state policymakers, criminal justice professionals, behavioral health practitioners, and advocates who attended the forum to debrief and discuss possible next steps for the state.
- Designate a state coordinator to serve as a point of contact for CSG Justice Center or CJI staff to assist in convening the forum and follow-up meetings during the criminal justice expert’s visit to the state. Ideally, the state coordinator should be a delegate to the 50-State Summit on Public Safety, or a person within the state who can lead outreach to ensure that the required composition of people attend the forum, including representatives from all three branches of government.
States interested in hosting a State Forum on Public Safety should express interest in hosting by December 1, 2017, through the 50-State Summit mobile app or by visiting the following website: http://bit.ly/PublicSafetyForums. For questions or additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact Cassondra Warney at firstname.lastname@example.org.