Effective justice strategies

little wooden figures holding up statute symbolThe Effective Justice Strategies Subcommittee (EJS) is a multidisciplinary group of justice system professionals whose mission is to "explore and assess the effectiveness of policies and programs, including drug and other specialty courts, designed to improve public safety and reduce incarceration." Originally called Alternatives to Incarceration, the subcommittee was created in 2004 by the Wisconsin Court System's Policy Planning and Advisory Committee (PPAC) after PPAC identified the overcrowding of jails and prisons as critical issues to be addressed by the court system.

In 2012, working in partnership with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), EJS released Effective Justice Strategies in Wisconsin: A Report of Findings and Recommendations. This report provided recommendations for further advancing the subcommittee's work, such as establishing a statewide criminal justice coordinating council, and creating full-time statewide problem-solving court coordinator and evidence-based practices coordinator positions, goals which have since been accomplished. EJS continues to study criminal justice practices and issues affecting the court system, develop resources, and make research-based recommendations for changes to the criminal justice system.

Collaborative problem-solving

Each year more Wisconsin counties develop collaborative teams to problem-solve around justice system and public safety issues in their communities. Generally known as collaborating councils, an effective collaborative team can bring about improvements and new initiatives that cannot be achieved by a single agency or organization (i.e. problem-solving courts, implementing risk assessment tools, community service programs, restorative justice, etc.). Collaborating councils provide the necessary foundation for communities to fully assess local criminal justice system needs and develop programming and practices responding to those needs. Judges play a critical role in collaborative teams by convening the appropriate justice system leaders and offering a unique perspective of the system and its impacts from an objective and neutral vantage point.

Current state collaborative initiatives

For more information, contact the Office of Court Operations at (608) 266-3121.