Research shows rural Americans are more likely than urban residents to be jailed, to overdose, and lack access to substance use treatment, mental health care, and public health services. That’s why it’s so important to identify innovative solutions to address justice inequality in rural communities. The Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center, in partnership with the National Center for State Courts, and Rulo Strategies, LLC, authored the Rural Justice Innovations publication to highlight the inaugural group of nineteen Rural Justice Innovation sites selected by the Rural Justice Collaborative (RJC). The innovation sites profiled in this report represent the best of the best. These locations have proven rural justice programs that increase access to justice, improve family outcomes, and reduce reoffending rates. Most importantly, these programs are replicable in other rural communities that face similar challenges in ensuring equitable justice.
The RJC, a group of the country’s most innovative rural justice system leaders, is working to identify best practices that rural communities can replicate. By forming a group of judges, prosecutors, public defenders, treatment providers, and more, the RJC pioneers a new model centered on rural leaders developing solutions to rural problems not by focusing on what a barrier in their communities, but on what is working. The RJC is supported with funding from the State Justice Institute.
Access the publication here: https://www.sji.gov/wp-content/uploads/Rural-Justice-Innovations.pdf