FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Michele Hall
Boone County Commission Administrative Coordinator
Phone: (573) 886-4312
Email:mhall@boonecountymo.org

BOONE COUNTY JOINS
WHITE HOUSE’S DATA-DRIVEN JUSTICE INITIATIVE

October 19, 2016 – The Boone County Commission announces Boone County has joined the White House’s Data-Driven Justice Initiative (DDJ). The DDJ supports city, county, and state government efforts to use data-driven strategies to divert low-level offenders with mental illness out of the criminal system and to change approaches to pre-trial incarceration so that low risk offenders no longer stay in jail simply because they cannot afford bond. This commitment is coupled with the County’s participation in the National Association of Counties Stepping Up Initiative, spearheaded by Commissioner Janet Thompson. Stepping Up is a national initiative aimed at finding solutions to the problems created within our community by the over-representation of people with mental health issues in the criminal justice system, including in the Boone County Jail. The core of these solutions lies in assessing resources as well as barriers and creating collaborations that will lead to a better outcome for individuals and the community as a whole.

In addition to the Data-Driven Justice Initiative, the White House has also established The Police Data Initiative (PDI), in which the Columbia Police Department is participating. This is an initiative which supports efforts of local law enforcement agencies to leverage data to increase transparency and accountability and build trust with their communities.

In the spirit of these initiatives, the County is proud of the collaborative efforts underway in our community. The Boone County Community Services Department, the Columbia/Boone County Department of Health and Human Services, the Heart of Missouri United Way and many other agencies have joined efforts as they commit to assessing programmatic challenges and successes through analysis of data.

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