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Office Location:

Criminal Justice Services
715 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

Criminal Justice Services

​Safety and Justice Challenge




In 2017, Mecklenburg County was awarded $2 million from the MacArthur Foundation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge to help support the County’s efforts to develop and implement strategies capable of positively impacting the main drivers of the local jail population.

To continue reducing the jail population safely, the County plans to implement new strategies capable of enhancing existing services, expanding the utilization of non-jail alternatives for low-risk defendants, and increasing the community’s involvement in the process of local justice system reform. This will include enhancing services provided to defendants pretrial, improving current bail policy, and partnering with community residents to identify and implement community-led programs and policy interventions.  

Problem:

Between 2014 and 2017, Mecklenburg County reduced its jail population by 11%. While these numbers are worthy of celebrating, Mecklenburg County’s Department of Criminal Justice Services continues to search for ways to reduce the use of incarceration for low-risk, non-violent defendants. 

Too often, a jail stay depends on an ability to pay. As a result, many individuals spend time in jail awaiting trial because they cannot afford bail, or other fines and fees.

  • Pretrial release and length of stay are main drivers of the jail population. The average jail pretrial population alone was 64% of the total ADP in 2016. 
  • Despite making up approximately 33% of the local population, African Americans and Hispanics account for approximately 76% of the jail population (as of April-June 2017). 
  • In 2016, the County released 36% of booked defendants on financial bond and 35% in 2017 (to date).  Automating the completion of the Public Safety Assessment (PSA) tool will help ensure that judicial officials are able to access each defendant's individualized assessment of risk when determining their conditions of release. 


Solutions:
Mecklenburg County has proposed a series of strategies that, taken together, will assist our jurisdiction with the implementation of policy and practice change to further reduce the local jail population, enhance services provided to defendants pretrial, improve the efficiency of our justice system, and provide equitable, quality justice to all. Click on the links below to learn more about each of Mecklenburg County's strategies.


Outcome:
Supported with $2 million from the Safety and Justice Challenge, Mecklenburg County will implement forward-looking, smart solutions, to further reduce the local jail population by 13% over the next two years.


Safety and Justice Strategies







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Address

Office Location:

Criminal Justice Services
715 E. 4th St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

Contact

Criminal Justice Services