Johnson County Jail Alternatives Coordinator Jessica Peckover, Iowa City Police Officer David Schwindt, and Shelter House Executive Director Crissy Canganelli attended the Data-Driven Justice Initiative meeting in Washington, D.C. in June.
Johnson County has joined the Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) Initiative recently launched by the Obama administration to reduce jail populations. The initiative seeks to use data and new strategies to divert low-level offenders with mental illness out of the criminal justice system in order to reduce jail populations, while also helping to stabilize individuals and families, better serve communities, and reduce costs. A total of 67 states, counties, and cities have committed to the initiative.
DDJ communities are taking new steps to link data from across the criminal justice and health systems to identify the highest-need, highest-cost individuals who have come into frequent contact with law enforcement or emergency services, and proactively link these individuals to supportive services. In addition to helping decrease encounters with law enforcement, this initiative will help provide stability and reduce costly over-reliance on emergency medical treatment.
City of Iowa City Police Officer David Schwindt, along with Johnson County Jail Alternatives Coordinator Jessica Peckover and Shelter House Executive Director Crissy Canganelli, represented Johnson County during discussions about key components of the DDJ Initiative in Washington, D.C. earlier this summer. A larger group, comprised of law enforcement, government officials, doctors, social service providers and others in Johnson County, have been working together since February to find alternative ways for the criminal justice system to work with people who suffer from mental illness or other behavioral health issues.
For more information, view “Launching the Data-Driven Justice Initiative: Disrupting the Cycle of Incarceration,” at www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/30/fact-sheet-launching-data..., or contact Jessica Peckover, Johnson County Jail Alternatives Coordinator, at 319-688-5819 or email@example.com.