Anchorage – Last week, Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) joined corrections directors, state legislators, law enforcement officials, and behavioral health professionals from all 50 states at The 50-State Summit on Public Safety in Washington, D.C.
The two-day summit, organized by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA), served as an unprecedented opportunity for state delegates to join experts from across the country to examine and discuss state trends in crime, arrests, corrections populations, addiction and mental health. Ultimately, the summit sought to identify and advance integrated approaches to addressing states’ unique challenges to improve public safety.
“The conference showed that all 50 States are working on innovative solutions to the same challenges as Alaska: wise use of state resources and improving public safety,” said Rep. Claman.
Each of the 50 state teams that attended the event were led by their respective state corrections administrators and included a key state legislator, a law enforcement official, and a local behavioral health professional. Participants at the event—which featured 35 behavioral health directors, 15 chiefs of police, 12 sheriffs, and 41 state legislators—received state-specific workbooks developed through interviews conducted by the CSG Justice Center. The individual state data includes trends in crime, arrests, recidivism, correctional populations, and behavioral health in each state, as well as case studies and examples of lessons learned.
The summit featured discussions with leaders representing all elements of the criminal justice system from across the country. Speakers included U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, JustLeadershipUSA’s Glenn E. Martin, and Darlene Hutchinson Biehl, director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.State teams emerged from the summit with innovative strategies for reducing crime and recidivism, improving outcomes for people with mental health and substance use disorders, and reducing spending on prisons and jails.
State teams are encouraged to request follow-up visits from the CSG Justice Center. Up to 25 states will be selected to receive additional technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. Additionally, the CSG Justice Center will release a report in January 2018 that includes a detailed analysis of the state and local data discussed at last week’s summit.
The 50-State Summit on Public Safety was made possible by funding from by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Tow Foundation.