This week, I had the chance to build on my participation with National Association of Counties (NACo) and explored justice and public safety priorities such as juvenile justice reform, workforce development, jail population management and related jail heathcare issues at the 2013 Smart Justice Symposium, held Jan 31-Feb. 1.
Hosted by Los Angeles County, our NACo Justice and Public Safety (JPS) Committee discussed these critical priorities with justice and public safety experts from across the country and considered how county officials can best shape federal policies and funding levels to ensure that services for communities are efficient and effective.
Seven sessions were held over the two days addressing:
- Latest innovations and successes on juvenile justice reform
- Pretrial justice programs and how they can improved public safety and help counties better manage jail populations
- Workforce development plan and strategies to curb recidivism
- New national health care law and how it relates to county jail populations strategies to curb child sex trafficking
- Relationships between counties and their state in the management of jail populations
The NACo Smart Justice Symposium builds on the focus of NACo's Justice and Public Safety platform and legislative agenda. The opportunity to hear directly from experts on many of the critical justice and public safety issues affecting counties across the country and the critical matters explored at the meeting will improve and enhance public safety in states and local communities.
In my role as NACo's JPS Court Subcommittee Chair, I participated in panel discussions and facilitated a workshop and conversation on pretrial services, offering alternative sentencing options that can help to reduce jail populations. In addition, along with our chair of the JPS Committee Nancy Schouweiler, Commissioner from Dakota County, MN, I was able to tour a portion of the Los Angeles County jail facility whose Sheriff's Department and County Supervisors are responsible for housing approximately 18,000 inmates at various locations with a budget of nearly $3 billion per year. LA Supervisor Don Knabe and Sheriff Lee Baca both presented at the Symposium. To see a full agenda of the Smart Justice Symposium, visit www.naco.org
*Commissioner Clark serves on the NACo Justice and Public Safety Committee as the Court Subcommittee Chair.