Governor Jack Markell announces Delaware Justice Reinvestment Initiative in partnership with Vera

Juliene James Former, Senior Policy Associate, Center on Sentencing and Corrections
Jul 25, 2011

Governor Jack Markell today signed an executive order creating the Delaware Justice Reinvestment Task Force and announced that the group will work in partnership with Vera on a federally funded project with the goals of improving public safety and avoiding further increases in justice-related costs. The bipartisan task force represents all three branches of state government.

“We are looking at our public safety spending and asking, ‘How can we improve safety for Delawareans by using taxpayer money more wisely?’” Markell said. “We are focused on becoming more effective and efficient by identifying new strategies to reduce crime, prevent recidivism, and limit the growth of the prison population. But there is only one way that this gets done—and that is with everyone at the table.”

Justice reinvestment is a data-driven approach to corrections policy that seeks to cut spending and reinvest savings in practices that are known to improve safety and hold offenders accountable. The Delaware Justice Reinvestment Initiative is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance. Vera's Center on Sentencing and Corrections is also collaborating on Justice Reinvestment Initiative projects in Los Angeles, Arkansas, Kentucky, and South Carolina, and has worked in Alabama and Louisiana.

At the press conference, the governor and Justice Carolyn Berger both called Delaware "a place where you can get things done." After today's show of commitment by state leaders, I believe it. I look forward to getting things done with our Delaware partners.