Benefits of a Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB)


Improved analysis of problems. Planning produces the data and analyses needed by elected officials and justice administrators to improve their decisionmaking.

Improved communication, cooperation, and coordination. Planning provides a mechanism for improving communication, cooperation, and coordination among police, courts, corrections, and private service agencies as well as between different levels of government and the three branches of government. Improved coordination is the result of planning.

Clear goals, objectives, and priorities. Planning permits more precise articulation of purposes and links goals, objectives, tasks, and activities in meaningful ways.

More effective allocation of resources. Planning provides a framework for resource allocation decisions. It simplifies setting priorities for the use of resources to achieve justice goals and objectives.

Improved programs and services. Planning produces a clearer understanding of problems and needs. Planning also makes it easier to formulate goals and objectives and to evaluate and compare alternative programs and procedures.

Improved capacity and quality of personnel. Planning focuses organizational effort and provides agency personnel with new knowledge and information.

Planning can result in benefits to the entire community, such as making the justice system more accountable, more open to the public, more efficient, and more effective. Justice system coordination can also save taxpayer money.

Many different justice planning and coordination activities serve to improve justice system policy, program, and operational decision-making at the local level. Planning can also increase public confidence in and support for the justice system. Ultimately, the effectiveness of the justice system depends on the willingness of the majority of citizens to obey the law and to report crime, identify suspects, and cooperate with the prosecution. Citizen cooperation is also necessary if ex-offenders are to reintegrate into the fabric of the community successfully. Anything that can be done to increase public confidence in the justice system and its support for justice processes contributes to system performance. A coherent plan, produced by a coordinating body that speaks with a responsible voice, can soothe public fears of crime and allay any concerns that little can be done about it.

In the aggregate, planning can protect the integrity of the law to the degree that it converts ideals into practice - by administering justice. Competent planning, in short, is a sign of good government.