Justice Reform Approach

Justice Reform Approach

Justice Reform Our system of justice is rooted in the principles of fairness and equity. We work to keep our communities safe by embracing programs designed to reduce recidivism while ensuring that every citizen is afforded equal treatment under the law.

The symptoms of poverty too often play a significant role in public safety and in the criminal justice system. Studies have shown that income disparity often results in inequities throughout the criminal justice system.

Our efforts have been aimed at eliminating these inequities. Our justice system reform initiatives include the following:

  • Bail Reform – We are strong advocates for significant changes in the bail bond system that presently exists in Cuyahoga County.
  • Charging Equity – We have been working with the County and City’s Prosecutor’s offices and the Cuyahoga County Public Defender to enhance the criminal charging system.
  • Attorney Assignment – Everybody charged with a crime is entitled to an attorney. So many important decisions regarding a case occurs early in the process including the significant matters relating to pretrial release.
  • Mental Illness – The number of mentally ill individuals in the County Jail has grown significantly over the past decade. We are engaged in multiple efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in our jails.
  • Re-Entry – Job opportunities for ex-offenders often offer the clearest path to reducing recidivism. We have been actively engaged in developing Cuyahoga County Jail Exit Strategies designed to assist ex-offenders re-engage in the community. You can find more information on our reentry programs here.
  • White House Data-Driven Justice Initiative – Because of our efforts to reduce the jail population in Cuyahoga County we were invited to join the White House Data-Driven Justice Initiative which promotes linking data between criminal justice and public health systems. Our Open Data Initiative offers data on community policing, GPS monitoring and High Visibility Enforcement Operations.