Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, is 655 square miles in size, has a population of approximately 100,000 citizens, and serves as home to more than 20,000 students enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley Technical College.
In 2010, the Eau Claire County district attorney’s office opened 4,002 criminal files. Charges were filed in 3,336 of those files, with 837 felony cases and 2,499 misdemeanor cases. That same year, 5,336 individuals were booked into the Eau Claire County Jail and held for some time period, as opposed to being booked and released. Approximately 510 individuals are placed on probation each year in Eau Claire County.
The EBDM policy team was formed as a subcommittee of the Eau Claire County Criminal Justice Collaborating Council (CJCC), which was established by county board resolution in September 2006. The principal mission of the CJCC is to enhance public safety through system and community collaboration, to maintain and establish effective rehabilitation programs, and to foster innovative correctional programs. In addition, the CJCC is committed to providing the coordinated leadership necessary to establish and foster innovative corrections programs through process improvements.
The EBDM policy team is comprised of a variety of stakeholders, including:
1. the county administrator
2. three circuit court judges
3. a district attorney
4. a Wisconsin Department of Corrections representative
5. a state public defender
6. the county board
7. the county sheriff’s department
8. the chief of police
9. the district court administrator
10. the Department of Human Services
11. the CJCC coordinator
12. community member
Vision for EBDM
1. Eau Claire County envisions a research-based justice system that results in less crime and fewer victims.
2. Eau Claire County will use coordinated leadership, community collaboration, and innovative criminal justice programs to enhance public safety.
Harm Reduction Goals
Eau Claire County’s harm reduction goals include the following:
1. Reduce the number of individuals who are convicted of crimes within three years of the completion of their criminal justice system contact.
2. More effectively allocate and use criminal justice system resources, as evidenced by reduced criminal caseloads and incarceration levels.
What stakeholders in Eau Claire County are saying about the EBDM Initiative:
Working through the EBDM process has highlighted, for me, a heightened sense of the obstacles and challenges that not only face the court system(s) that I work with(in) but the very real potential that can be demonstrated through the systematic contemplation of the obstacles and challenges facing the Eau Claire County justice system. – Scott K. Johnson, Tenth District Court Administrator
We now openly discuss both our successes and failures and strive for continual improvement based on objective data. We have seen a broad acceptance of this change, and our employees have recognized the value of this type of policing strategy. – Chief of Police Jerry Matysik
For more information on the effort in Eau Claire County:
Contact Tiana Glenna, CJCC Coordinator, at email@example.com