The Criminal Justice Resource Department (CJRD) opened in November 2015 as a division of the County Manager's Office. On July 1, 2017, it became a department in Orange County Government. The department oversees and supports jail alternatives programming in Orange County.
The Criminal Justice Resource Director supervises the Pretrial Release Case Manager, the Drug Treatment Coordinator and a Criminal Case Assessment Specialist. These positions assist court and criminal justice stakeholders by providing recommendations for pretrial release, diversion and treatment opportunities in the community for individuals facing pretrial detention.
The department also provides support and case management services to individuals participating in the Pretrial Release and Drug Court programs. In addition, the Criminal Case Assessment Specialist works directly with individuals incarcerated in the Orange County Detention Center with mental health and substance abuse issues in order to address specific therapeutic needs and to link these individuals to appropriate services and resources in the community.
The department collects and provides data and information to the County Manager, justice stakeholders and the community in order to support, enhance and recommend changes to jail alternatives programming. The objective is to reduce overall rates of pretrial detention, reduce the numbers of individuals with mental illness in custody, reduce recidivism and address racial and economic disparities in pretrial detention.
"Ending the overuse of jail will reduce economic and racial inequalities and is an essential part of advancing civil rights in the 21st century." Nicholas Turner, President and Director, Vera Institute of Justice.