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The Third Branch

PPAC subcommittee report details progress

By Bonnie MacRitchie, Office of Court Operations

At the Nov. 13, 2013 PPAC meeting, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Carl Ashley, chair of the Effective Justice Strategies (EJS) Subcommittee, presented the Phase II: Progress and Accomplishments report of the subcommittee to the Planning and Policy Advisory Committee (PPAC).

In 2004, PPAC created the Alternatives to Incarceration Subcommittee, now known as the EJS Subcommittee, to "explore and assess the effectiveness of policies and programs, including drug and other specialty courts, designed to improve public safety and reduce incarceration." During Phase I, the EJS Subcommittee focused efforts on studying, developing resources, and making recommendations in regard to collaborative problem-solving approaches to the criminal justice system.

During Phase I, the EJS Subcommittee focused efforts on studying, developing resources, and making recommendations in regard to collaborative problem-solving approaches to the criminal justice system.

The Phase II report details the significant progress EJS has made in collaborating with multiple agencies to advance evidence-based practices and decision making in the Wisconsin court system. The accomplishments highlighted by Ashley in his presentation to PPAC and incorporated in the report include: the Assess, Inform, and Measure (AIM) pilot project, implementation of recommendations of National Center for State Courts (NCSC) in their report on EJS in Wisconsin, published in early 2012; and development of Wisconsin standards for problem-solving courts with the Wisconsin Association of Treatment Court Professionals (WATCP).

The Phase II Report was accepted by PPAC. EJS continues to work toward the implementation of evidence-based policies and practices in the Wisconsin court system and criminal justice system at large.

The EJS subcommittee has been awarded a grant to develop state-wide drug court performance measures, with guidance from the NCSC, which is the foundation work for a state-wide evaluation of Wisconsin's drug and hybrid courts.

The subcommittee has also received a grant from the Department of Justice to develop an evidence-based sentencing curriculum, specific to Wisconsin. EJS continues to work with the local criminal justice coordinating councils (CJCC), adding two local CJCC coordinators to its membership in 2011.

At the January 2014 PPAC meeting, Vernon County Circuit Court Judge Michael J. Rosborough, chair of the PPAC Planning Subcommittee, presented the 2014-16 Critical Issues report. The four issues that were chosen include:

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