CJRI Programs

Justice and Governance Partnership

The Aspen Institute Criminal Justice Reform Initiative’s Justice and Governance Partnership (JGP) will support invited jurisdictions to improve analytical capacity and support policy improvements focused on ending overdependence on the criminal legal system, and will stimulate reinvestment in the local people, institutions and networks most knowledgeable about neighborhood safety and justice.

JGP does this by convening collaborations among government and community stakeholders and creation of a Local Justice Collaborative, supported by a Local Justice Intermediary, enhancing analytic capacity of partnerships through recurring Justice Audits, and supporting communities and jurisdictions to improve local justice-related policies through Justice Reinvestment Plans. A major focus of JGP is on engaging those residents most impacted by the justice system, through Community-Based Action Research approaches.

The Justice and Governance Partnership, over time, will comprise of up to 10 jurisdictions and will generate a steady increase of data-driven, community-informed policies and practices that will improve the lives of community members and reduce public costs, producing lessons that ultimately the whole country can learn and benefit from. Working with local justice funding collaboratives, each JGP site could receive, depending on funding availability, up to 5 years of support from CJRI, including up to $2.75M in funding, with additional technical assistance from national partners and participation in a peer learning group, the Aspen Justice Network.

The impact envisioned by JGP is the transformation of the local justice ecosystem through collective action, as demonstrated by a reduction in governmental crisis management interventions and a concurrent increase in the well-being of neighborhood residents. To accomplish this, diverse stakeholders will come together to form a collective vision of safety and justice that values the experiences and knowledge of community members and the role that chronic insecurity in housing, health, education, transportation and employment play in shaping safety and justice.

The four areas of impact that JGP expects to see are:

  1. Shared Vision: A shared definition and vision of justice and safety.
  2. New Governance: A new cross-sector and community engaged governing coalition around local justice policy.
  3. Community Ownership: Broader community leadership, perspectives, and ownership.
  4. Increased Safety & Opportunity: Better lives for neighborhood residents with a focus on equitable outcomes.

For more detailed information on the programmatic approach and impacts of JGP, please see the JGP Program Description.