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New Report Highlights the Challenges and Innovations in D.C.'s Criminal Legal System in 2022

Executive Summary
Full Report

On July 17, 2023, CCE published D.C.’s Criminal Legal Systems Overview 2022, a new report that offers a data-forward look into the significant challenges and innovations in the District of Columbia’s adult and youth criminal legal systems during the last year. As D.C. began to emerge from the most devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022, community members and government leaders continued to navigate challenges caused and exacerbated by the trauma, isolation, and disruptions over the past three years. District residents and policymakers grappled with police accountability, elements of a revised criminal code proposal, an increase in homicides, and how to better support returning citizens and youth. Amid these challenges, D.C. also proved its resilience and resolve, working towards transformative solutions to violence and crime. Throughout the last year, we saw developments that instilled a sense of urgency for systemic changes and inspired optimism as we witnessed firsthand the collective power in our communities.

“This year’s report makes clear that when D.C. residents are faced with loss, grief, and complex and multifaceted problems, they don’t simply accept the status quo. They call upon their leaders to look deeply at the interconnected policies and investments that can make their communities safer and their justice system more equitable. They inspire leaders to act. I am proud that CCE is able to help tell the story of some of the important issues affecting our community in 2022, and the creative solutions and investments to make the adult and youth legal systems more equitable,” says Misty Thomas, Executive Director of the Council for Court Excellence.  

Building off the 2019, 2020, and 2021 editions, CCE’s newest report provides easy-to-read updates on various challenges and developments in D.C.’s criminal legal system, as well as data visualizations to show significant trends and insights. With support from Public Welfare Foundation, this report presents the most recent available data in five areas of concern: Policing and Violence; Prosecution and the Courts; Adult Incarceration; Reentry; and Youth Justice.

We hope that this report offers an accessible and engaging update on the District’s criminal legal system. Importantly, we hope it is applied as a tool to inform an evidenced-based approach to supporting all of D.C.’s residents, particularly those directly impacted by the criminal legal system given its disproportionate impact on Black residents,” says Anya Kreider, CCE’s Open Horizon Criminal Justice Fellow, who was the report’s primary author.  

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