Mayor Brandon M. Scott Taking Steps to Restart Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC)
Wednesday May 12th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, May 12, 2021) — Mayor Brandon M. Scott is taking steps to independently restart the Baltimore City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) as a way to immediately strengthen coordination and communication across federal, state, and local public safety agencies in the fight against violent crime. The State cut funding to the CJCC in 2017, at which point the longstanding coordinating body stopped operating.
Today, Mayor Scott sent a letter to past participants of the CJCC to formally gauge their interest in voluntarily restarting the body, as one part of a larger comprehensive public safety strategy the Scott administration has been building and implementing since taking office in December.
“It is utterly impossible for a city to thrive when residents do not feel safe in their neighborhoods. That is why tackling violent crime is Baltimore’s biggest challenge, and reducing it remains my top priority,” writes Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Given your precise roles and responsibilities in moving Baltimore forward, reducing violent crime is likely a priority for you as well. But curing the violence epidemic is only possible if government agencies and our partners are concentrated and coordinated.”
Formerly convened by the Governor’s Office, the CJCC offered a much-needed forum for interagency partnership and discussion of urgent matters regarding violent crime. The group worked together to share timely information and develop collaborative measures to build a safer Baltimore on a regular basis. The CJCC and respective agencies also worked together to advance the fair and timely disposition of cases, bring swift justice to those accused of crimes, and evaluate practices and procedures.
“At a time when teamwork is needed more than ever, we have a real opportunity today to apply lessons learned from the past and create a modified CJCC that is truly solutions-driven,” continues the Mayor. “The Baltimore Police Department cannot solve violent crime alone – we must work together. The urgency of this moment requires courage and the will to do better and be better. Leaders must meet this challenge with a collaborative approach that is rooted in equity, transparency, accountability, and integrity.”
The re-envisioned CJCC would formally build on the local coordinating and accountability work of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement. The Office is responsible for ensuring accountability across Baltimore’s holistic violence reduction strategy and coordinating city agencies and community partners in the fight against violence.
In one of his first actions as mayor, Mayor Scott established the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE), which works to galvanize community partners and City agencies around equitable, trauma-responsive approaches to violence prevention.
Past CJCC participants include the Mayor’s Office, Baltimore City Council, Baltimore Police Department, Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney’s Office, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, District Court for Baltimore City, Maryland Attorney General’s Office, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, Office of the Public Defender, and U.S. Attorney’s Office.