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The Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), a collaboration of elected officials, law enforcement leaders, judicial leaders, advocates and community leaders released its 2021 Midyear Report, an update one year into the implementation stage of the group’s strategic plan.

“While we’ve had to be flexible with changes due to COVID-19, our work remains guided by data and collaboration, our plans are deliberate, and we are making progress towards the goals laid out,” CJCC project director Kristy Danford said in a press release. “As the CJCC moves into its second year of implementing the strategic plan, we are excited to keep moving forward and seeing this strategic plan to fruition.”

Breaking down the 32-page report highlights 12 core initiatives tackled. Here are three we thought were worth some extra attention.

Race Equity Fellowship

There is no clear-cut blueprint for addressing racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparity, the report reads, but developing a proposal for instituting a Race Equity Fellowship program for Charleston may be a good start.

To that end, the CJCC said it is working alongside College of Charleston research partners to to develop cost estimates and look into content and delivery formats. The program proposal has a developed budget and has been drafted, and recent grants will support developing and piloting the program, the report reads.

Diversion and Deflection

The CJCC proposed partnering with external researchers to study the impacts of deflecting individuals away from the criminal justice system and toward diversion centers and treatment impacts in regards to arrest numbers, jail populations and behavioral health outcomes. 

The group has established a research partner, Justice System Partners, which has had its research approved by their Institutional Review Board. Despite delays in the process, the final report is still expected in early 2022.

“Information sharing agreements take time to advance,” the report reads. “However, the report is still expected to come in on time.” 

Jail Population Review

CJCC noticed an absent regular review of the jail population, leading to unnecessary detainments of defendants that are not a threat to public safety or a flight risk. So the group has recommended an institutionalized regular jail population review. 

After the first year of the proposal, regular weekly jail population reviews (JPR) are conducted consistently. JPR lists are generated weekly and provided to respective court actors for continued monitoring and feedback. 

Charleston County Council unanimously passed a resolution in May of 2021 that affirmed its support of the CJCC, as well as its goals, mission and operational function, to improve the overall criminal justice system in Charleston County.

The full report can be read online at

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