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D.C. Criminal Justice System: Better Coordination Needed Among Participating Agencies

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Effective coordination of the many agencies that participate in a criminal justice system is key to overall success. Although any criminal justice system faces coordination challenges, the unique structure and funding of the District of Columbia (D.C.) criminal justice system, in which federal and D.C. jurisdictional boundaries and dollars are blended, creates additional challenges. Almost every stage of D.C.'s criminal justice process presents such challenges, and participating agencies are sometimes reluctant to coordinate because the costs to implement needed changes may fall on one or more federally funded agencies, while any savings accrue to one or more D.C. funded agencies, or vice versa. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) was established and staffed as an independent entity to improve systemwide coordination and cooperation. During its two and a half-year existence, CJCC has served as a useful, independent, discussion forum at a modest cost. It has had notable success in several areas in which agencies perceived a common interest, such as developing technology that permits greater information sharing. It has been less successful in other areas, such as papering, in which forging consensus on the need for and the parameters of change has been difficult. CJCC has achieved some successes at a modest cost and served as a useful, independent forum for discussing issues that affect multiple agencies. CJCC's future is uncertain because its funding source, the D.C. Control Board, is scheduled to disband and key CJCC officials have left."
Date: March 30, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

D.C. Criminal Justice System: Better Coordination Needed Among Participating Agencies

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Every criminal justice system faces coordination challenges. However, the unique structure and funding of the D.C. criminal justice system, in which federal and D.C. jurisdictional boundaries and dollars are blended, creates additional challenges. The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) has played a useful role in addressing such coordination challenges, especially in areas in which agencies perceived a common interest. However, CJCC's uncertain future could leave D.C. without benefit of an independent entity for coordinating the activities of its unique criminal justice system. Funding CJCC through any participating agency diminishes its stature as an independent entity in the eyes of several CJCC member agencies, reducing their willingness to participate. Without a requirement to report successes and areas of continuing discussion and disagreement to each agency's funding source, CJCC's activities, achievements, and areas of disagreement have generally been known only to its participating agencies. This has created little incentive to coordinate for the common good, and all too often agencies have simply "agreed to disagree" without taking action. Furthermore, without a meaningful role in cataloging multiagency initiatives, CJCC has been unable to ensure that criminal justice initiatives are coordinated among all affected agencies to help eliminate duplicative efforts and maximize their effectiveness. This testimony summarizes a March 2001 report (GAO-01-187)."
Date: May 11, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department