Indiana Local Justice Reinvestment Councils Project


CEPP serves as Indiana’s partner in building and delivering an array of technical assistance resources to support the Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) Framework in Indiana’s 92 counties. The Framework posits that public safety outcomes will be improved when criminal justice system stakeholders:

  • Engage in collaborative partnerships
  • Use research to guide their work across decision points
  • Work together to achieve community well-being, more efficient use of tax dollars, and fewer victims

Our Approach

EBDM is a strategic and deliberate method of applying empirical knowledge and research-supported principles to criminal justice system decisions made at the system level. Sponsored by the National Institute of Corrections, CEPP’s EBDM work in Indiana began in 2010, with the inclusion of Grant County as one of seven pilot sites around the country implementing and assessing how well the EBDM Framework ideology would work in practice.

Since then, CEPP has provided training, facilitation, and technical assistance to seven county-based teams and one state team in Indiana. Pretrial advancements have been among the system improvements implemented through the EBDM lens.

CEPP is also working with Indiana to adopt and align decision-making processes resulting from House Enrolled Act 1068 (HEA 1068) with the EBDM model. HEA 1068, which Governor Eric Holcomb signed in April 2021, sets forth, among other provisions, requirements around the membership of county or regionally based multidisciplinary policy councils. CEPP provides strategic input, training, and technical assistance aimed at engaging and supporting those local teams, whose roles broadly include:

  • Working in partnership with the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council (JRAC) to coordinate statewide policymaking
  • Reviewing, evaluating, and recommending local justice system services
  • Reviewing, reporting on, and addressing local jail crowding
  • Complying with JRAC data requirements

The Impact

By using the EBDM Framework, Indiana can:

  • Encourage criminal justice system reformers to come together
  • Understand research pertinent to outcome improvement
  • Analyze their current system’s policies, practices, and performance
  • Align methods of advancement around areas of their choosing

The case study “Sustaining the EBDM Model: The Indiana Story,” prepared for NIC in October 2022, documents Grant County’s EBDM accomplishments. In it, Mark Spitzer, Grant County Circuit Court Judge and Chair of the Grant County EBDM Policy Team, said, “We have created a culture of collaborative decision making in the justice system which enhances local partnerships, facilitates the sharing of information and opinions, promotes creativity and the implementation of evidence-based interventions, and seeks to achieve excellence in results.”

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