Council using feedback from Charleston Co. community for three-year plan on improving criminal justice system

VIDEO: Council using feedback from Charleston Co. community for three-year plan on improving crimina

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - An organization working to improve the criminal justice system in Charleston County is gearing up for a new three-year plan.

It will outline the goals for the Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council known has the CJCC.

It’s mission is to assist in making sustainable, data-driven improvements to the criminal justice system and improving public safety and community well-being.

Some of their past successes, which are still ongoing, include lowering the jail population and speeding up part of the court process.

A big part of their efforts include community engagement. The project coordinator, Kristy Danford, says priorities for their three-year plan are coming directly from people who live in the area.

"We wanted to get in the areas of the community that maybe wouldn't come out to the public meeting or wouldn't show up at a county council meeting so we've been partnering with our community representatives since the beginning," Danford said.

More than 1,200 people who live in the Charleston area gave feedback about what improvements they'd like to see in the criminal justice system in Charleston County.

The key areas of concern include bond practices, the time it takes to get to justice, the tendency of a convicted criminals to re-offend, and the higher number of minorities in the criminal justice system.

"Every one of those areas had people with an equal percentage of people saying that was the most important so what that tells us is it's all important," Danford said.

On Tuesday, the CJCC hosted an action forum with people from the community, getting them one-step closer to creating their new plan.

They use data-driven information to see how improvements can be made and how far they've come.

If you’d like more information about their efforts visit http://cjcc.charlestoncounty.org.

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