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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

Key Initiatives

​Safety and Justice Challenge



In 2020, Mecklenburg County was awarded an additional $1 million from the MacArthur Foundation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge to continue supporting the County's efforts to develop and implement strategies capable of positively impacting the main drivers of the local jail population. This brings the total investment in Mecklenburg County by the MacArthur Foundation to $3 million.

 

To continue safely reducing the jail population, the County plans to implement strategies aimed at addressing system inefficiencies, enhancing existing services, providing non-jail alternatives for defendants, and increasing community engagement in local justice system reform. This will include enhancing services provided to defendants pretrial, implementing more meaningful first appearance hearings and improving case processing, and partnering with residents to identify and implement community-led programs and policy interventions.

 

Problem:

Between 2014 and 2017, Mecklenburg County reduced its jail population by 11 percent. 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 defendants.

Too often, a jail stay depends on an ability to pay. Although we've increased the use of non-financial conditions of release, jail stays still too often depend on ability to pay.

For example:

    • Pretrial release and length of stay are main drivers of the jail population. The average pretrial jail population alone was 63 percent of the total average daily population in 2019.

    • Despite making up approximately 46 percent of the local population, African Americans and Hispanics make up 78 percent of the jail population (as of January-November 2019).

 

Solutions:

  • Implement strategies aimed at addressing system inefficiencies, enhancing existing services, providing non-jail alternatives for defendants, and increasing community engagement in local justice system reform.

  • Enhance services provided to defendants pretrial.

  • Implement more meaningful first appearance hearings and improving case processing.

 

Outcome:

Supported with an additional $1 million from the Safety and Justice Challenge, Mecklenburg County will continue to implement forward-looking, smart solutions to further reduce the local jail population by a total of 17 percent by 2021.



 

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

Key Initiatives

close alert Health Alert: To prevent spread of COVID-19, County services are operating at a limited capacity.