In the fall of 2010, the Charlottesville/Albemarle EBDM Policy Team was formed as a result of being selected by the National Institute of Corrections be a pilot site for the Evidence Based Decision Making Initiative. Guided by the vision statement “Working together for a safer community, one person at a time,” the EBDM Policy Team began meeting on a monthly basis to plan for Phase III implementation and developed a systems map, logic model, scorecard, and action plan for implementation of key change targets as well as education of key stakeholders on EBDM concepts. Accomplishments that began in Phase II and extend to today include:
- Establishment, in collaboration with University of Virginia Systems Engineering Students, of a criminal justice data integration plan with a central data warehouse linked to key data found in nine discrete agency systems.
- Development and implementation of a web-based Administrative Response Matrix (ARM) to provide for responses to probation noncompliance and to reward prosocial behavior. This matrix serves as a model for swift, certain and proportionate violation and incentive responses based on risk level of the offender and severity of violation that can be replicated in other Virginia localities.
- A coordinated, system-wide approach to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. With technical assistance through the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), EBDM implemented a variety of strategies to address IPV. The Blueprint for Safety focuses on the development of a coherent set of policies and procedures around IPV. This model and approach can be modified to suit the needs of other localities. The Lethality Assessment Protocol (LAP), implemented in all domestic violence calls in Charlottesville, Albemarle County and at the University of Virginia began in February 2016. The University of Virginia Police Department and the Shelter for Help in Emergency were included as additional stakeholders. A focus on the enhancement of judicial and magistrate education related to IPV was also a primary strategic target. A Magistrate and Juvenile Court Judge attended IPV training sponsored by Futures Without Violence and supported by OJP in San Diego, California and Atlanta, Georgia. A workshop was held in Charlottesville, Virginia on IPV and attended by judges, magistrates, and court officers from around Virginia through OJP and the National Council for Family and Juvenile Court Judges.
- A first-of-its-kind study at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, conducted in partnership with the University of Virginia and Region Ten Community Services, to determine the size and composition of the inmate population suffering from serious mental illness at the jail, and the extent of linkage to mental health services following reentry. This study revealed that 25% of the inmate population met the screening criteria for Serious Mental Illness, and that less than one third of those identified received mental health services upon release.
- An actuarial risk and needs assessment tool (COMPAS), implemented at ACRJ in the fall of 2013 to guide housing and inmate program assignments.
- Numerous public speaking engagements, both locally and in Wisconsin, Colorado, Nevada, and Georgia, and California to teach on the EBDM principles and engagement process.
Based on the success of the Charlottesville/Albemarle EBDM Phase III implementation Governor Terry McAuliffe developed an interest in expansion of the EBDM model to six additional sites in the Commonwealth. The Charlottesville/Albemarle Policy Team has advanced expansion of EBDM in Virginia through the following activities:
- Two members serve as Capacity Builders for the other pilot sites to assist with establishment of policy teams, logic models, and action plans.
- Two members of the Policy Team serves on the statewide EBDM Policy Team and chairs the Probation Violation State subcommittee, while a third member serves on the statewide EBDM data subcommittee.
- Technical assistance provided to the Staunton EBDM site in LAP implementation.
- Presentations on the Administrative Response Matrix to Chief Probation Officers and Local Probation Directors around Virginia, and to the American Probation and Parole Association in Cleveland, Ohio in August 2016.
Several new projects are under consideration, in response to emerging community needs. These include implementation of a diversion process for low to moderate-risk seriously mentally ill inmates at ACRJ, while improving the treatment linkage between newly-released inmates and mental health services, mitigating racial disproportionality in our criminal justice system, and refinement of performance indicators and dashboard development. By the end of 2016 we will have completed a leadership transition involving a number of EBDM Policy Team members, including new police chiefs in both the city and county, a new county prosecutor, a new public defender, a new probation chief, a new community treatment team leader, criminal justice planner, and a new chief magistrate.