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District Task Force on Jails & Justice Publishes Phase I Report on Future of Corrections in DC

 Jails & Justice: A Framework for Change

Full Report

Report of the Committee on Facilities & Services
Report of the Committee on Local Control
Report of the Committee on Community Investments & Alternatives to the Criminal Justice System
Report of the Committee on Decarceration
Community Engagement Data Analysis
Corrections Data Technical Addendum


Published in November 2019, the District Task Force on Jails and Justice’s Phase I report, Jails & Justice: A Framework for Change, is a culmination of nine months of deep community engagement, correctional data analysis, research into best practices, and deliberation by Task Force Members. The Task Force is a 26-member independent advisory body established in 2019 to evaluate elements of a new correctional plan for the city, make recommendations about who should and should not be held in D.C.’s facilities, and articulate our community’s priorities for a secure detention facility’s population, location, design, and services.


The new report incorporates the opinions of nearly 2,000 community members shared through focus groups, community workshops, a town hall, and a survey.  The report makes 17 recommendations for progress, pointing to an increasing demand for alternatives to the District’s overreliance on its criminal justice system.


The Task Force’s work was staffed by the Council for Court Excellence and its partners, The National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens and the Vera Institute of Justice. “It’s not just that the expectations of reform advocates have changed over the last decade; residents’ and government officials’ attitudes toward incarceration have also shifted,” says Misty C. Thomas, Executive Director of the Council for Court Excellence. “We knew it was not enough to look at a jail’s design alone. The Task Force had to carefully consider community investment, decarceration, and local control issues to fully envision a just path forward.” The report synthesizes practitioner expertise, data analysis, and public feedback to make a case for a D.C. justice system that would serve as a national model.


“The findings are clear, Washingtonians are thinking beyond the facility,” says Shelley Broderick, Task Force Chair and Dean Emerita of UDC’s David A. Clarke School of Law. “The Task Force’s work is rooted in the lived experiences of our residents – far too many of whom, directly or indirectly, understand the devastating impact of justice involvement in the District,” says Broderick.


Watch the recording of the report release event here.
To request a copy of the report, or to learn how to make your voice heard in Phase II of this project, please contact or call (202) 785-5917.


Follow the Task Force on Twitter (@DCjails_justice) for updates on Phase II of this important work. 

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