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Improving Management of Jail Populations (Case Study)

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2017
4 pages
This case study describes the process and outcomes of the training and technical assistance provided to Nevada's Clark County Detention Center (CCDC) by the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Justice Program's (OJP's) Diagnostic Center to better address the challenges in delivering detention services in a safe and secure environment.
In 2014, the CCDC's average daily population reached an all-time high of 3,907 per day and an average length-of-stay of 23.3 days, although the operating capacity was at 2,563. This posed significant challenges for CCDC staff in providing services in a safe and secure environment. The OJP Diagnostic Center was contacted by the CCDC leadership in August 2015, requesting training and technical assistance (TTA). The goal of this TTA was to improve management of CCDC's population by reducing overcrowding and improving pretrial decisionmaking to minimize public safety risks and maximize resource use. The Diagnostic Center's responsibility was to identify model practices that could inform decisionmaking on how best to manage the CCDC's population. This process was guided by the collection and analysis of local data relevant to the challenges of CCDC's management. The insights gained from these efforts are 1) that jail management requires a coordinated, system-wide approach that incorporates all components of the criminal justice system; and 2) that data-driven and research-based tools can improve detention decisions while relying on less costly and more service-based alternatives for those justice-involved individuals posing minimal risk. Some preliminary stakeholder perceptions of the TTA results thus far are improved coordination among justice partners; the adoption of a tested, validated, evidence-based pretrial risk assessment; improved data collection and sharing; and a reduced pretrial jail population. 3 figures

Date Published: February 1, 2017